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Wet weather hits latest pre-season test

Poor weather at Charlotte Motor Speedway caused the latest round of pre-season testing of the new Generation 6 car to be truncated to a single Friday afternoon session.
The latest round of testing of the new Generation 6 model NASCAR Sprint Cup vehicle was seriously cut back after heavy rain hit Concord, North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway all day on Thursday.

The latest pre-season development track session for the Gen-6 cars was meant to be a two-day affair starting on Thursday, but the first day proved to be a complete washout before the heavy rain later later turned to snow and ice.

Although the wet weather had moved away from the region by Friday morning leaving the day with blue skies but very chilly, it still took the facility some time to get the 1.5-mile track into a usable state and as a result cars weren't able to get out for their first runs until shortly after midday. Ice forming inside the SAFER barriers was one reason for the delay, and there were also concerns over 'weepers' which saw water draining from seams in the track.

To try and reclaim some of the lost time, NASCAR arranged to keep the track open through lunch and to allow cars to continue making runs until 7.30pm instead of wrapping at the usual 5pm mark.

Among the 33 drivers attending the test, Roush Fenway Racing's Biffle was the early pacesetter with a lap of 192.601 mph during the afternoon. "This is the first opportunity we've really had to get the car on the race track in the configuration we're actually going to race in,” said Biffle

"We needed these two days to really figure out what the car is going to end up like," he added. "We can test into the evening and [hopefully] it won't get too cold, too fast because I'd rather stay as long as we can and get as much information as we can versus having to pack this whole show up and go somewhere else again, or come back later."

The cars got quicker as the temperatures dropped in the winter evening, and Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola set a new unofficial track record with a laptime of 27.832s (194.021mph) before the session finally ended after around seven hours of test time.

Teams had a three-day test opportunity at Daytona last week, but restrictor plate superspeedways are very different tracks compared with the normal 1.5-mile tracks such as Charlotte that NASCAR more usually races on, so the loss of time this week would have been keenly felt. However the teams, drivers and NASCAR officials were all philosophical about the time lost to the weather delay.

“Testing is valuable, there is no question about it," said Richard Childress Racing's Jeff Burton. "But if we [only get] two hours today, everybody got two hours."

"I think like any test, teams will leave out of here, some will be happy, some will be middle-of-the-road and you'll have a couple of sad ones," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. “They'll continue to work on it."

The test at CMS is the last opportunity for teams to work on their cars out on track before they head to Daytona for Speedweek in February, which culminates in the Daytona 500 season opener to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Charlotte Motor Speedway test session times

1. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 27.832s (Leader) 194.021mph (74 laps)
2. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 27.882s (-0.050s) 193.673mph (93 laps)
3. #13 Casey Mears Ford 27.924s (-0.092s) 193.382mph (109 laps)
4. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 27.938s (-0.106s) 193.285mph (131 laps)
5. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 28.009s (-0.177s) 192.795mph (138 laps)
6. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 28.032s (-0.200s) 192.637mph (97 laps)
7. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 28.036s (-0.204s) 192.610mph (92 laps)
8. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 28.063s (-0.231s) 192.424mph (94 laps)
9. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 28.070s (-0.238s) 192.376mph (109 laps)
10. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 28.075s (-0.243s) 192.342mph (131 laps)
11. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 28.092s (-0.260s) 192.226mph (85 laps)
12. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 28.095s (-0.263s) 192.205mph (101 laps)
13. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 28.104s (-0.272s) 192.143mph (92 laps)
14. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 28.108s (-0.276s) 192.116mph (121 laps)
15. #22 Joey Logano Ford 28.123s (-0.291s) 192.014mph (139 laps)
16. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 28.134s (-0.302s) 191.939mph (70 laps)
17. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 28.158s (-0.326s) 191.775mph (156 laps)
18. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 28.172s (-0.340s) 191.680mph (67 laps)
19. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 28.194s (-0.362s) 191.530mph (97 laps)
20. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 28.196s (-0.364s) 191.517mph (66 laps)
21. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 28.214s (-0.382s) 191.394mph (79 laps)
22. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 28.216s (-0.384s) 191.381mph (62 laps)
23. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 28.241s (-0.409s) 191.211mph (97 laps)
24. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford 28.278s (-0.446s) 190.961mph (122 laps)
25. #11 Michael McDowell Toyota 28.315s (-0.483s) 190.712mph (204 laps)
26. #30 David Stremme Toyota 28.332s (-0.500s) 190.712mph (80 laps)
27. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 28.342s (-0.510s) 190.530mph (114 laps)
28. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 28.355s (-0.523s) 190.443mph (96 laps)
29. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 28.468s (-0.636s) 189.687mph (46 laps)
30. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 28.469s (-0.637s) 189.680mph (107 laps)
31. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 28.645s (-0.813s) 188.515mph (64 laps)
32. #34 David Ragan Ford 28.752s (-0.920s) 187.813mph (96 laps)
33. #34 Scott Speed Ford 28.882s (-1.050s) 186.968mph (41 laps)



Related Pictures

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A view of cars parked in the garage during NASCAR Testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 17, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Rain falls in the garage area during NASCAR Testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 17, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The car of Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, sits in the garage during NASCAR Testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 17, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The car of Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ford, is pushed through the garage area during NASCAR Testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Aric Almarola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, watches on in the garage area during NASCAR Testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, races Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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)

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Andrew - Unregistered

January 20, 2013 9:46 PM

@BMFBW - racing safely on high speed ovals in the wet is nigh-on impossible, even if you have the world's best wet-weather tyre, so it doesn't/won't happen. In Sprint Cup that leaves only a couple of road courses per year where you might manage it, but because teams+drivers have virtually no experience of wet weather running NASCAR don't allow it in Cup racing. Although I think it *can* and sometimes does happen in the second-tier Nationwide Series' road events, strangely, proving the only consistent thing in NASCAR rules is their inconsistency!



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