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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)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/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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