DOVER, Del. – Dover In’l Speedway hosted its first team testing session of the year on Tuesday, with six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and five NASCAR Nationwide Series teams turning laps at the Monster Mile today in preparation for the May 31-June 2 tripleheader weekend.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams testing included Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman, all of Stewart-Haas Racing; Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; and Germain Racing’s Casey Mears. NASCAR Nationwide Series teams on track included Austin and Ty Dillon, plus Brian Scott, all of Richard Childress Racing; and Sam Hornish Jr. and Ryan Blaney, both of Penske Racing.
The test was the first opportunity for these drivers to try out the all-new Generation 6 car at Dover. The results so far, McMurray said, have been fast, as expected.
“Everywhere we’ve been with this car it’s been quite a bit faster than the car that we had last year,” he said. “Normally at a test you can run faster than you can at the race. The track is clean, there’s not a lot of rubber on it, so yeah, our speeds today have been quite a bit quicker than what we ran in race trip last year. It’s got a lot of grip and the track is really fast.”
Montoya added that being able to turn a few laps in the Gen 6 at Dover should help when he returns in a few weeks to race in the June 2 FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
“You look at the big things that you can do for race weekend,” he said of testing. “When you come here for race weekend, you pretty much know what you’re going to run. Usually, the window you have to work with is very small, unless you have testing. Then you have data and telemetry in the cars, and a lot more stuff to work with in testing.”
All the drivers on site will return for a second day of testing on May 15, with Blaney and Hornish Jr. sticking around for an extra day on May 16.