Track Record Could Fall At Barber

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Alternate tire use and weather conditions (forecast is for temps in the low 70s; about 15 degrees warmer than the Open Test) are among the variables Jakes said could affect record-challenging lap times.

“I think the closeness of the field and the fact that Firestone slightly adjusting the tire compounds will make the racing even more exciting,” said Jakes, who will drive the Honda-powered No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car in his third start at Barber. “No one knows what they have to work with at the moment and it will take a few races to determine that — especially switching back and forth from street and road course.

“Once we get a bit further into the season, people will have a better idea but as of now there is a little bit of uncertainty especially towards the tire compound and that should keep things interesting.”

Added Firestone Racing executive director Al Speyer: “We can’t wait to see what kinds of speeds are achieved when those red-sidewall Firehawk alternates get their turn.”