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Roush-Fenway, Team Penske Wrap Up Texas Test

Roush-Fenway, Team Penske Wrap Up Texas Test

by September 25, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Team Penske and Roush-Fenway Racing didn’t have much of a break following the SYLVANIA 300 in Loudon as the teams would jet down to Texas for a test session.

The two day test at Texas Motor Speedway for the teams concluded on Tuesday with both teams using the test to prepare for select tracks remaining on the 2014 schedule and for this weekend’s race at Dover.

All five full-time Sprint Cup drivers for both teams – Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Carl Edwards – were present at the track on both Monday and Tuesday and would utilize the test for different purposes.

For Biffle and Edwards, Roush-Fenway’s current Chase drivers, Texas’s test provided the drivers to test their speed for the mile-and-a-halfs remaining on the schedule – Kansas, Charlotte, Texas, and Homestead. Some of what the Roush-Fenway camp have learned about their intermediate track program can also apply to shorter tracks such as Dover as well – according to both drivers.

Biffle spoke of how essential this test was during a break from the on-track action.

“It is critical and that’s why we’re testing,” Biffle said. “We’re trying to figure out our program for these mile-and-a-halfs. A lot of times when you find speed at these places [it] transfers to shorter tracks as well. We’re working hard and trying to find speed.”

Edwards took note of the fact that Texas is still six races away on the series calendar. If the information gathered by the Roush-Fenway camp is going to be useful for their Chase drivers at Texas, both Biffle and Edwards will have to advance through the Contender Round and into the Eliminator Round in order for the data to come in use for their championship hopes.

“It’s interesting,” Edwards noted. “To test here is kind of a risk because this race is not for awhile and we’ve got other things to focus on. We do feel like things that we find here at Texas can apply at Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, and all of the mile-and-a-halfs. Plus, it’s just a fun place to come to.”

Team Penske’s drivers on the other hand, will have more use for the data gained from the test at Texas as both Keselowski and Logano have punched their tickets into the Contender Round, a round that features mile-and-a-half tracks Kansas and Charlotte.

Contrary to what Roush-Fenway’s strategy was for the two day test, Logano stated that the Penske drivers were present in Texas to experiment with adjustments that they would not typically make during a race weekend. The two Penske drivers likely don’t need to find any extra intermediate track pace anyways – they have four intermediate track wins this season compared to zero for Roush-Fenway.

“When we come to test, it’s not really all about the speed,” Logano said. “It’s about getting the parts and pieces that we don’t usually get to try – things that take longer to change that we don’t get time to try in practice when we’re here on race weekends. We’ll go through some things and we’ll say ‘okay this is better here or worse there’ and we can really study the data and really understand what is making our car run – good or bad – but understand what the changes are actually doing to the car a little better.”

With the data gathered from Monday and Tuesday, the teams will now head off to Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, for this weekend’s AAA 400.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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