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Positive start for next-gen Cup cars

Teams finally got a chance to get down to some serious testing with their new next-generation cars that will début in Sprint Cup competition next February at Daytona.
The first serious track test and development session for the 2013 generation of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars took place on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with 16 of the current Cup drivers turning out to put the new hardware through its paces.

Brad Keselowski was trying out a Ford for the first time in his new Penske Racing car, after the team's decision to part ways with Dodge with whom they won the 2012 championship. Keselowski was joined by his new team mate Joey Logano, who transfers into Penske after finishing his tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Logano's spot behind the wheel of the #20 JGR, Matt Kenseth, was also at Charlotte on Tuesday along with his new 2013 team mate Denny Hamlin. The third member of the JGR line-up, Kyle Busch, did not take part in the session.

Richard Childress Racing fielded Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon, while the Hendrick Motorsports squad was represented by Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Regan Smith.

Also present for the first of the two-day test were Juan Montoya (Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), Ryan Newman (Stewart-Haas Racing), Casey Mears (Germain Racing), Bobby Labonte (JTG-Daugherty Racing), Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports) and Trevor Bayne (Wood Brothers).

"The cars drive really good," was the verdict of Dale Earnhardt Jr. "This is the first time I've drove the cars at all, but I'm really impressed. I like the downforce of the car, and the balance seems to be relatively good. The car drives well for us."

Better rear-end grip and improved aerodynamics got the thumbs-up, although the taller spoiler at the back attracted some criticism for limiting visibility. Grip was better and speeds faster in the colder morning conditions when the cars ran single file stints, while more race simulations in packs were conducted in the warmer afternoon temperatures.

"All in all, the feedback in the garage area has been very positive," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition after the first day's testing and development work on the sixth generation of Sprint Cup car, widely dubbed the 'G6'.

As well as a second day at Charlotte on Wednesday, there will be another two-day session at the same venue in January and an option to do more testing later in the month at Las Vegas before the Preseason Thunder session at Daytona that precedes the first Sprint Cup race, the Daytona 500, in February.




Related Pictures

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the #88 National Guard Chevrolet during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 11, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski (R), driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford, talk in the garage area during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 11, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman drives the #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 11, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General/Home Depot Toyota, speaks with the media during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 11, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski drives the #2 Miller Lite Ford during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 11, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Cole Whitt on track at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for testing on March 21, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Parker Kligerman at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Whitt at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
The front right tire of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, driven by Paul Menard, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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andrew2k

December 12, 2012 10:02 PM

i've been reading up on this on various other sites and it seem to me like the new chassis might create an exciting season come next year. If anything its just this NASCAR really needs to get its back its strayed fans. Anyhow looking at the test results it seem like Montoya's pace seem to be improving alot. I wonder if this mean that he could be a real championsip contender next year.



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