NASCAR driver tests at Mid-Ohio

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon got a taste Monday of the challenges that Nationwide Series competitors will face at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August.

Dillon, part of the Richard Childress Racing team, became the first and maybe the last driver to do a test run before next year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at the 2.4-mile road course in Lexington. NASCAR typically doesn’t allow drivers to make test runs at tracks on the current year’s schedule, said Mid-Ohio spokesman Jesse Ghiorzi, so Dillon just got in under the wire before 2013 begins.

“Fortunately, we have this warm weather to have the test here," Ghiorzi said.

He said the racing circuit may make an exception to its ban on in-year test runs at some point in 2013 since a NASCAR race has never been run at Mid-Ohio. If so, it could include multiple cars that would speed their way through the race course’s 13 turns and 150-foot elevation changes.

NASCAR raced at four road courses this past season, with stops at Watkins Glen in New York, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Road America in Wisconsin and Sonoma in California. But they are not all the same in terms of the challenges for drivers, Ghiorzi said.

“Any kind of road course can have different types of turns, speeds and elevations," he said. “They all are a little bit different." [Editor's Note: The cars were so slow it was like watching paint dry]

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