What to Expect from Monday’s Michigan Test

What to Expect from Monday’s Michigan Test

by August 14, 2014 0 comments

Photo credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images.

Next Monday brings about the first official test of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series race package as nine teams are scheduled to test at Michigan International Speedway – one day after the Pure Michigan 400.

Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing), Brad Keselowski (Team Penske), Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports), Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing), Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush-Fenway Racing), Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing), and Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports) have all been confirmed for Monday’s test. Michael Waltrip Racing have yet to declare which of their two drivers – Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers – they wish to keep in Michigan into Monday.

Monday’s test will test the developments made by NASCAR’s Research & Development team on the intermediate track race package; developments that NASCAR assures are evolutionary and not revolutionary.

NASCAR is planning on bringing two distinct aero packages to Monday’s invite-only test. Changes that are to be tested will consist of potential 2015 aerodynamic and engine modifications to the current sixth-generation Sprint Cup car.

The first package is labelled as a ‘prime rules’ package and will consist of the use of dive planes, a nine-inch spoiler, a six-percent rear differential gear ratio, three different amounts of horsepower (850, 800, 750), and a driver-adjustable track bar similar to what is used in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The second package is labelled as a ‘low downforce’ package and will only consist of a removal of the radiator pan under the hood and the usage of a three-and-a-half-inch spoiler. These changes will take off 28-to-30-percent of the overall downforce pushing down on the cars.

Accompanying these two distinct aerodynamic packages will be a sticker tire supplied by Goodyear.

The ultimate goal for the testing of these two packages is to discover which of the two provides the best racing action for the product. The right combination that NASCAR will be looking for on Monday should accomplish two goals the sanctioning body has laid out – reduce the rapid increase between spacing between the cars on a green-flag run and to increase drafting at the end of the straightaway at the intermediate tracks.

Six different sessions are scheduled for Monday, each running for 15 laps. Three sessions are expected to be run single-file to test the new packages in the draft while the remaining three sessions are expected to run double-file to test the side-by-side racing abilities of these two packages.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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