After rain interrupted day one at Charlotte Motor Speedway, teams tested all day and into the evening under the lights on Friday. Fans and teams have embraced the Gen-6 car, but test time is still crucial as Speedweeks in Daytona nears.
Each test has been an opportunity for crew chiefs and drivers to understand the new characteristics of the Gen-6 car. The playing field has been leveled out as all teams have had an equal amount of time to prepare for the 2013 season and Speedweeks, which begins with The Sprint Unlimited (Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio) and culminates with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 (Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. on FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
The Gen-6 car offers a clean slate to teams, including Jeff Burton and his No.31 Richard Childress Racing team as they look to rebound after a 2012 season that resulted in a 19th-place points finish.
“I think that by anybody’s measurements we didn’t have a good year through the company last year,” Burton said. “We went almost the whole year without winning a race. I think it is easier to start over than it is taking an existing vehicle and starting over. It gives us a chance to stop and say ‘okay what is the best way to develop a car’ and through that, build a program that works for that. I think the timing of that is good for RCR [Richard Childress Racing] in general. Whether that will yield results or not, we will see. I think the timing of it is good for us.”
Today’s session, which was again delayed by weather, was an opportunity for teams to find some extra speed and fine-tune their Gen-6 cars.
“This is the deal where we all roll out new cars at the same time and everybody is trying to get a jump on the rest of the guys,” said Martin Truex Jr, driver of the No. 56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. “We’re going to get as much time on the track as we can get.”
Aric Almirola topped the charts with a top speed of 194.021 mph to round out the last open test before the start of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.