JOLIET, Ill. – Three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers completed a Goodyear tire test on Tuesday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Brad Keselowski (Team Penske), Paul Menard (Wood Brothers Racing) and Ryan Newman (Roush Fenway Racing) took part in the test to help determine the tire combination for the Camping World 400 on June 30.
The test was delayed for track drying from overnight rain and the first car his the track shortly after 10:30 a.m. CT. With rain in the forecast for Wednesday, the test was changed to a one day session that ended under the lights at 9 p.m. CT.
Chicagoland is Keselowski’s best track based on average finish (9.2) and he is a two-time winner there. Not only will the test help his team when they return to Chicagoland, but also at other 1.5-mile tracks like Kansas Speedway this weekend that will utilize the Dover left-side tire code and right-side code from Vegas and Texas.
“I feel fortunate that our group was able to come here with the 2 team,” Keselowski said. “We learned a few things to apply when we come back here. These mile-and-a-half racetracks are really important. Things that will work here work at other racetracks.”
Following Kansas and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, Chicagoland will mark the sixth race at a 1.5-mile track this season that will feature the 550 horsepower rules package that was introduced this year. Drivers made multiple runs bunched up together during the day around the track that has one of the oldest surfaces on the circuit.
“This track has aged really well,” Keselowski said. “It has a few bumps, but they are good bumps. The surface has gotten a little bit rougher as far as what it does for the tires and I think that’s been good. That keeps the tires wearing and creates passing opportunities and that will pay off when we come back. I’m expecting a great race.”
The teams selected for the test were based off a rotation of organizations in the top 20 of the 2018 point standings and the selections for Chicagoland happened to be three Ford teams in the order.