Newman Haas Lanigan Racing has returned to the track for the first time since the death of team co-owner Paul Newman to complete its final test of the 2008 season.

Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal both turned laps during the test at Texas Motor Speedway, with the duo completing a combined total of more than 400 during the course of the day.

British ace Wilson admitted that the test hadn't been easy for the team, coming only a matter of days after Newman lost his fight with cancer last Friday, but said that the team was determined to do the best possible in his memory as it moves forwards.

"Texas was a very good test," he said. "We learned a lot of things and worked on the 1.5-mile oval setup. The setup we came here with was a big improvement straightaway and shows the progress we've made during the season. We also made improvements during the day as well. So we're going in the right direction and everyone can be very proud of how far we've come this season.

"It was the first test since Paul passed away so it was difficult. He was one of a kind and obviously we're all missing him badly and thinking of his family. Paul affected so many people in a positive way, not just in the motor racing world, but in every area that he participated in during his life. I'm fortunate to have known him.

"Paul always followed our progress during tests and came to many of them over the years. He was a great guy to be with around the track. At Texas, everyone kept working away and doing what they do best under difficult times. We just want to go out there and do the best for Paul. I think he'd be happy about our progress."

NHLR will conclude its racing season with the non-championship event at Surfer's Paradise later this month.



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