Every year the NASCAR season seams way too long and this year was no exception. But then after the Holidays the season doesn’t seem to be long enough. The NASCAR withdrawal season begins in earnest right after Christmas although some lucky people manage to make it to after the New Year’s. This year we are all lucky we have some additional early testing. This weekend we have NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.
Preseason Thunder testing consists of three days of testing for all the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams that want to test the cars they will be using for the Daytona 500 and/or the Sprint Unlimited Shootout. Teams are not required to test, but skipping this test will put a team at a severe disadvantage in the Daytona 500.
I know I need to see some cars on the speedway. I also like to think of the technical aspects that testing entails and how the crew chiefs are trying all sorts of adjustments in order to make the cars handle better and yet still be fast. That is what this weekend is all about. Many teams will test multiple cars in order to choose the one that they think will give them the best chance to win the Daytona 500. It still is hard to imagine one car being faster than another yet they look the same on TV or in person.
The rules package for Daytona testing are as follows:
· Plate size 29/32″ (same plate size as 2012)
· Spoiler size 4″ high x 53″ wide
· Spoiler angle 70 degrees
· Front Grille size 1-3/4″ high x 23″ wide
· Radiator Relief valve 32 psi
It is anticipated that if problems develop during testing, such as cars going too fast and cooling issues, NASCAR will tweak these rules somewhat when the teams get back to Daytona for Speedweeks in early February.
If you have the need for speed you can go to Daytona International Speedway and watch the practices in person. They will be practicing from 9 to 5 PM ET on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is available if one or more of those days gets rained out. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com for additional information.
If you are like me and cannot get to Daytona, some of the practices will be on the Speed Channel. The practice sessions from 9 AM until Noon ET will be streaming live on Speed.com. The practice sessions from 1 PM until 5 PM ET will be broadcast on the Speed Channel live with an encore presentation from 6 until 8 PM ET for those people who cannot see it during the day.
Don’t worry NASCAR fans you will get your fix this weekend to tide you over. On second thought, I hope it doesn’t make the NASCAR withdrawal worse.