On April 11th and 12th NASCAR and Goodyear conducted a testing session with five drivers at the famed Daytona International Speedway. Those drivers included Joey Logano in his number 22 Penske Ford and Eric Jones in the number 77 Furniture Row Toyota to name a few.
To the naked eye this seemed as though it was a normal tire test. It was way more than that.
We all have reasons we watch this sport they range from the tech type people like my self to people who watch just for the wrecks. What ever your reason we all can agree that for the most part NASCAR is always on the cutting edge of safety in our sport.
That’s why this test was more than just tires. As fans we all watch restrictor plate tracks asking and waiting for “the big one”. Well that’s exactly what NASCAR was focusing on, on Tuesday in Daytona.
The five drivers not only were testing the Goodyear Tires but also a participated in what NASCAR called a aerodynamic exercise. Normally at these test teams are trying to find speed and work with new tire compounds and give data back to Goodyear so they can select a tire.
Racing is a sport of pushing limits and running on that ragged edge of control and speed. Well on Tuesday NASCAR had different ideas. They were searching for ways to slow down cars at the restrictor plate tracks like Daytona. “Yesterday was an interesting day with a lot of different packages coming from NASCAR,” Logano said in a post test interview on Wednesday. Logano went on to say, “The goal is to try and lower the lift-off speed. When these cars turn around backwards, it creates lift. That’s when you see cars get real light. When they’re already light – and get hit – you sometimes see them roll over, right? We’ve seen that happen. So we’re trying to figure out ways to create downforce – backwards. I guess it’s what we’re trying to do.”
As excepted with any change in this sport there is a lot of engineering that goes into the changes not only for aero but for safety as well. “It’s easier said than done. We can probably do that pretty easily. But doing that and not effecting the racing and not adding a bunch of costs to the teams is the challenge,” Logano said. The cost for the teams has been a hot topic for the sport in the resent years as some smaller teams have come and gone due to the cost of racing.
Did the test work? according to Logano “I feel like they’ve made some good gains on it. But as a driver, it might seem good to me. As a team, they might have to talk some things out on how to implement certain things the right way and keep us all from ourselves, basically. Control ourselves from ourselves.”
Both divers agreed that they believed that the test went well Jones stated in his post test interview when asked “It all went well, I think they learned plenty.” Logano said “We learned a lot Even with five cars I thought we collected some good data from that.” Both seemed to be optimistic and had positive things to say regarding the test.
We as fans never like to hear the words slow down. After all this sport is about speed right? I agree with NASCAR on this topic of slowing down the take off speed without affecting the racing we all love at these tracks. How ever we as fans as well as a sport need to think of the safety of these drivers as well as crews. In the resent years we have lost to many from the motorsports world as a whole due to what some may see as not advancing in the world of safety. As we watch on race day on restrictor plate tracks holding our breath waiting for the “big one” to happen we all sit and hope no one gets upside down and if they do we all hold our breath that much more as we wait for the driver to emerge unharmed.
So if you hear latter in the year about changes for packages at the restrictor plate tracks remember, it maybe for the safety of the sport not just change. So in my eyes the Goodyear test at Daytona was way more than just tires.
Credits Quotes, Photo NASCAR Media