NASCAR drivers test COT at VIR
Nearly 25 NASCAR stars testing the Car of Tomorrow for its road course debut flocked to VIRginia International Raceway Tuesday, taking advantage of the track's test days to prepare for the Sonoma and Watkins Glen races.
The day went almost without incident as Tony Stewart had an engine problem almost as soon as he hit the track in the morning. Then Denny Hamlin had a differential failure late in the day, causing the car to be towed in behind a team truck.
The best lap times of the day, on VIR's 2.25-mile North Course, hovered just under one minute, twenty-nine seconds, but differences in tires and sometimes in time of day, make absolute comparisons meaningless. Several teams had laps around 1:28.8, including Bobby Labonte, Marcos Ambrose, and the Hendrick team's development driver.
With the wide variety of tires used, Labonte joked that at Sonoma, at least everyone would be on the same tires. He also expressed hope that they would be "better" than the tires used last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway's Coca Cola 600, where some teams elected not to change tires for one or two fuel stops.
Testing continues on Wednesday, with several teams leaving after Tuesday's testing ended, but several more expected. Teams expected to test on Wednesday include Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, DEI, RCR, Petty, Hall of Fame Racing, Ray Evernham and several others.