Drivers have chance to experiment
If Mother Nature permits, NASCAR's Sprint Cup tour will be testing its latest and greatest the next two days at Pocono International Raceway.
For the first time since 1995, the 2.5-mile triangular shape track has a fresh layer of asphalt. So, teams will basically be starting from scratch building setup sheets for this weekend and beyond.
“The weather’s a little iffy, but we’re going to have plenty of track time and we’ll have the opportunity to do a lot of things we’ve been wanting to try that you usually can’t run on a race weekend,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “You don’t have a lot of time during race weekends — like at Dover last week — to try stuff that is on your list. There’s just not enough time to change things over. You run out of practice and (will) not get your car ready for the race.
“So, we can try a lot of things that we haven’t tried before – some new ideas with qualifying and stuff like that — because when you go into qualifying trim on a regular weekend, you get about two runs, three runs and you’re out of tires and you’re out of time. So, we’ll have time to improve on some of our packages and stuff like that and, hopefully, help ourselves."
Teams also will have the opportunity to work with the changes to the aerodynamic package that were introduced on May 16. Those include shorter side-skirts and, on tracks of two miles or more, a shark fin starting from the C-post (top of the left-rear window) to the spoiler, which may allow the cars to recover a small degree of side force.
The Sprint Cup Series race, the Pocono 500, will be run Sunday.