Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rain disrupts first day of test at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The future arrived at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday as Goodyear kicked off a two-day Car of Tomorrow tire test with five NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams in preparation for the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Drivers that participated in the test include Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing), 2007 Daytona 500 pole winner David Gilliland (Yates Racing), David Stremme (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Mark Green subbing for Michael Waltrip (Michael Waltrip Racing) and recent Nextel Cup Series winner Clint Bowyer (Richard Childress Racing).
The Car of Tomorrow, a five-year project by NASCAR's Research and Development Center, is designed to be safer, more competitive and cheaper for the race teams.

NASCAR's next generation race car made its debut in Cup competition earlier this year and was scheduled to be used in 16 races.

It will be utilized on a full-time basis in 2008.

Rain slowed the first day of testing, which Goodyear is using to test different tire compounds and structures. The morning session of the test was rained out but the teams got on the track just after noon. Intermittent rain showers did slow the afternoon session.

"Obviously, it's a Goodyear tire test for all of us," Bowyer said. "We're trying to come here and bring the best tire back that we can and use our input and the information that the guys get from us being on the race track. With the way the weather is, we really need to get out there."

This isn't the first time the Car of Tomorrow has been on track at "The World Center of Racing." Earlier this year during preseason testing, Penske drivers Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman shook down their Dodges for a few laps.

The tire test continues on Wednesday.

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