NASCAR completes 2-day Phoenix test
NASCAR Sprint Cup teams completed testing Wednesday at repaved and reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway.
Thirty-five teams hit the mile oval on the second day of the test in preparation for the Kobalt Tools 500 on Nov. 13, the ninth event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
''As we ran the track, it got a lot better with rubber,'' said Carl Edwards, tied with Kevin Harvick for the Chase lead. ''As treacherous as this place was in the Goodyear tire test, as tough as it was to drive, it got better the whole day. I think we have a lot to look forward to once the track gets more rubber on it.
''To me it's going to be pretty amazing to be the penultimate race and have all those opportunities for something crazy to happen, it could shake everything up. I don't know how all those dynamics are going to work out. I think as we see the other series run, we'll learn where the problem spots are.''
The new configuration also features variable banking, a longer dogleg and improved pit road.
''It's awesome,'' said Steve Addington, crew chief for driver Kurt Busch. ''They've done an awesome job with the racetrack, plus they've done an awesome job on pit road. You look forward to picking a pit. All the pits should be good when we come back to race. I think that's going to be the action place.
The 47-year-old track was last repaved 20 years ago.
''Testing here has allowed the teams to really focus on their strategy and gather crucial data as they prepare for the upcoming race weekend,'' said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. ''This is a totally new racetrack and, as with all newly repaved facilities, time is going to play a factor in how these cars compete. It will certainly be an exciting weekend in Phoenix for sure.''