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SportWhy Las Vegas test could be one of most important in NASCAR history

21:45  30 january  2019
21:45  30 january  2019 Source:   nbcsports.com

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are also touting the significance of the test on Thursday and Friday, issuing a media release with this headline: “Elite drivers ready for one of the most important tests in NASCAR history .” The data teams collect from the test will go a long way towards adapting

This week’s two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway certainly showed this Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will be unlike any Testing in NASCAR always comes with a caveat – there is no technical inspection and teams are free to push their respective car’s limits as little or as

Why Las Vegas test could be one of most important in NASCAR history© Getty Images

While nearly two dozen Cup and Xfinity teams will take part in this week’s two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, at least one new driver-crew chief combination is putting its significance into perspective, particularly due to the new rules package that will mark the first time teams experience the new aerodynamic and horsepower elements.

“It’s almost at the very top (of all-time tests), obviously, because this is our one chance to work on communication and the new package, and we have some new players in the shop too, engineering-wise,” Matt McCall, crew chief for Kurt Busch at Chip Ganassi Racing, told a media gathering earlier this week.

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“We’ve got a lot of different stuff we need to communicate on, not just between me and Kurt, but also the team and Kurt,” McCall added. “So, it’s pretty high up there, for sure.”

Busch, who won the 2004 Cup championship, is looking forward to the test at his hometown track and to work on car-to-team on-track communication. Busch owns LVMS’ speed record of 196.328 mph (set in 2016), but given the new package’s horsepower limitations, it’s unlikely he’ll come close to that speed in the test.

“For me, it’s just to get behind the wheel and to feel the Chevrolet and feel the drivetrain and to go through a few setup changes,” Busch said. “I think the most important thing is radio communication and how we want to mock-up certain pit stop sequences for changes as we’re out on-track and just having that banter back and forth so when we roll into Daytona, we’re best prepared.

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“That’s a big reason why Chip Ganassi Racing is having the No. 1 car go do this test is to work the bugs out of it and just work those sequences into how we’re going to go attack things in Daytona.”

Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are also touting the significance of the test on Thursday and Friday, issuing a media release with this headline: “Elite drivers ready for one of the most important tests in NASCAR history.”

The data teams collect from the test will go a long way towards adapting early in the season to 1.5-mile tracks such as Atlanta Motor Speedway and LVMS, which host the second and third races of 2019 – Feb. 24 and March 3, respectively – after the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.

In addition to Busch and McCall, the Las Vegas test will also be the first on-track interaction between several other driver/crew chief combinations including Jimmie Johnson and new crew chief Kevin Meendering, Chad Knaus and William Byron at Hendrick Motorsports and Ryan Newman and Scott Graves at Roush Fenway Racing.

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The test will be open to fans with free admission. Also, NASCAR.com will be streaming parts of the test.

Here’s the list of drivers and teams that will be taking part in the Las Vegas test:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

0 Landon Cassill, Starcom Racing, Chevrolet

1 Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet

2 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford

3 Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet

6 Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford

13 Ty Dillon, Germain Racing, Chevrolet

14 Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford

18 Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota

21 Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford

43 Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet

47 Ryan Preece, JTG Racing, Chevrolet

48 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet

51 Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, Chevrolet

95 Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota

Chevrolet W

heel

Force car Ross Chastain, Chevrolet Racing

Ford W

heel

Force car David Ragan, Ford Motor Company

Toyota W

heel Force car Drew Herring, Toyota Racing Development

NASCAR Xfinity Series

8 Zane Smith, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet

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9 Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet

Five important takeaways from NASCAR's Las Vegas test

Five important takeaways from NASCAR's Las Vegas test This week’s two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway certainly showed this Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will be unlike any other. Testing in NASCAR always comes with a caveat – there is no technical inspection and teams are free to push their respective car’s limits as little or as much as they want. Yet over two days of testing with NASCAR’s new aerodynamic rules still provided a much better look and some helpful understanding prior to the rules’ first use in the season’s second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

18 Riley Herbst, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota

98 Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford

Event schedule (all times Eastern Time):

Thursday, Jan. 31

11 a.m.–Practice begins; LVMS gates, grandstands and pit road (via infield tunnel) open to the public

2 p.m.–Drafting practice on track

3-4 p.m.–Driver’s lunch break, driver group interviews in media center

6 p.m.–Drafting practice on track

8 p.m.–Drafting practice on track

10 p.m.–Track secure

Friday, Feb. 1

11 a.m.–Practice begins; LVMS gates, grandstands and pit road (via infield tunnel) open to the public

Noon –Drafting practice on track

2 p.m.–Drafting practice on track

3 p.m. –Track secure

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