January will find Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams in a pair of crucial test sessions in preparation for the 2019 season.
A trio of drivers are at Auto Club Speedway this week to take part in a Goodyear tire test. Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Daniel Suarez are in California working with the tire manufacturer to produce rubber for this coming campaign which will feature a dramatic new rules package that features reduced horsepower and major aerodynamic modifications.
See Also: Photos from Test at Auto Club
At the end of the month the testing scene stays on the West Coast but shifts to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The first organizational test of the year will find 14 drivers at the 1.5-mile track on January 31-February 1.
The roster of drivers expected to be on track for the two day test includes:
Brad Keselowski (Team Penske)
Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports)
Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)
Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Ryan Newman (Roush Fenway Racing)
Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing)
Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing)
Landon Cassill (StarCom Racing)
Matt DiBenedetto (Leavine Family Racing)
Ryan Preece (JTG Daugherty Racing)
Paul Menard (Wood Brothers Racing)
Additionally Ross Chastain, Drew Herring and David Ragan will also be on track driving manufacturer wheel force cars to collect data and information.
“Getting the information from both the tire test in California and the organizational session in Vegas will be crucial to getting a baseline started for this new rules package,” said Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” “The horsepower and aerodynamic changes are similar to what was run in the All-Star race but not completely the same. So outside of simulation these will be the first times we’ll have cars with on track conditions.”
The test is tentatively scheduled to run from 11 am to 9 pm ET on Jan. 31 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Feb. 1. A section of the LVMS main grandstands and pit road will be open to fans at the test.