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Kurt Busch, James Courtney swap NASCAR and V8 in Austin

“It was pretty wild sitting on the other side of the car and shifting an H-pattern gearbox,” Courtney said. "Changing with an H-pattern gearbox is different; it's done almost automatically in the car at home so you never think about it.

"Another thing that is quite different is the braking performance," he continued. "The car was bigger and heavier. It has so much power. It's really quite an experience. It was also quite cool to see blow past the V8 car on the straight. It was really good.

Adding that the oversize steering wheel favoured by NASCAR "feels like it's massive," Courtney said that he was still far from confident handling the stock car at the end of the day's track opportunity: "To run side-by-side I was pretty nervous because it's moving around a bit more than what I'm used to, " he said. "But the car was excellent ... It's built for Speedways, not really road courses. It's a very different machine."

For his part, Busch was envious of what he'd seen of the V8 series' close quarters running: "The ability, though, for what I see on TV, for these guys to run side-by-side, nose-to-tail, is the control of the cars, the balance they have makes it a treat to drive."

Another former V8 Supercar champion form Australia, Marcos Ambrose, currently competes full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Richard Petty Motorsports, and has two poles and two wins to his credit as well as a further four wins in the second-tier Nationwide Series competition.

The swap came a day after multiple MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi had a similar experience, trading his usual Yamaha motorbike for a much heavier NASCAR stock car at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday when he was given the opportunity to drive Kyle Busch's #18 Cup car.

"Exciting, high speed and a great feeling in the corner," Rossi said afterwards, adding that many of his friends were NASCAR fans. "You are glued on the racetrack. It was great, I enjoyed it a lot. I love driving the race car, and I always have, so it was exciting to drive a NASCAR."

See the full story on Rossi's day at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the MotoGP channel.

Penske appeal date set

The date for Penske Racing's appeal against heavy sanctions imposed after the team was found to have unapproved rear end suspension components on the cars of Brad Keselowksi and Joey Logano at Texas will be heard at 9am on May 1, NASCAR announced on Tuesday. Three members selected at random from the National Stock Car Racing Commission will hear the appeal which will take place at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

The drivers each lost 25 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and face losing key members of their race teams - including both men's crew chiefs - is the penalty stands. Penske has a right of last appeal to NASCAR's chief appellate officer John Middlebrook if the May 1 ruling goes against them.




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US President Barack Obama (middle) shakes hands with team owner Roger Penske (right), as Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (left) stands nearby during an event at the White House, April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosted the event to honour Keselowski the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
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T Burton - Unregistered

April 26, 2013 6:40 AM

Thanks for this great recap! I work with V8 Supercars here in the US, and we are very excited for next month's inaugural Austin 400. If anyone would like additional info on the race, search "V8 Supercars COTA" for details on ticketing, etc. Thanks!



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