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Villeneuve tests for Phoenix Cup race


Jacques Villeneuve completed another test this week in the Car of Tomorrow in preparation for his second Nextel Cup start next month in Phoenix.

Villeneuve tested at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois along with Bill Davis Racing teammate Dave Blaney.

"It's getting seat time," the 1995 CART champion tells Belleville News-Democrat. "It's getting to work on the COT car, getting it ready for next year since we're planning to run the whole season. The more laps we do at different tracks in different cars is just useful."

In his first ever Nextel Cup start, Villeneuve qualified sixth at the Talladega Superspeedway and finished a respectable 21st - the last of the drivers on the lead lap and ahead of seasoned NASCAR drivers such as Michael Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dale Jarrett.

In three Craftsman Truck Series races, he has failed to finish the last two due to incidents.

Despite the most recent disappointments in the Truck series, the former F1 world champion says he's enjoying his initiation into stock car racing.

"It's just fun racing. You just have to look at the racing and it's just good racing which hasn't been the case at most tracks in Formula One," he tells the newspaper.

"I did 10 years of F-1 and it was time to move on and there's only one other big series in the world and that's NASCAR. It's the only one that's as challenging and I've always done things for the challenge -- and it's a huge challenge."

Blaney says he's not surprised that F1 drivers like Villeneuve, Scott Speed and Juan Montoya along with open wheel racer Dario Franchitti have decided to make the switch to stock cars. CTV Sports

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