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Daytona set to host 3-day Sprint Cup preseason test in January
Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to host a three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series preseason test before the start of the 2013 Speed Weeks.

Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said Tuesday that Cup Series teams would conduct the test in January, but said he does not have the days cleared with NASCAR yet.

The 2013 Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 24.

As part of some rules changes announced Tuesday, NASCAR will allow Cup teams four tests at racetracks that are hosting events in 2012.

Private testing at NASCAR member tracks had been banned since 2009. Testing was conducted at the Speedway in 2011 because Daytona had repaved its 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Testing was approved this year because NASCAR changed to electronic ignition systems for its engines, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said.

Daytona won't count against those four test dates given to each team, Pemberton said.

“Daytona is critical to getting our season kicked off,” Pemberton said in teleconference with national racing media. “Having four restrictor-plate points races for Cup and there's the Shootout, Duals and all of those things; Daytona is a place we need to come to get things tuned up for the season.”

According to the 2013 Speedway schedule, the Roar Before The Rolex 24 is scheduled Jan. 4-6. The Roar is a test session for Grand-Am Rolex Series and Continental Challenge Series sports cars.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is scheduled for Jan. 26-27, the kickoff event to 2013 Speed Weeks. That leaves a two-week window of opportunity for the Cup test, which has been called Preseason Thunder in recent years. Daytona Beach News Journal

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