NASCAR Teams Wrap Sonoma Tire Test
SONOMA, Calif. – Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams completed a rain-dampened two-day Goodyear tire test at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday.
Intermittent rain fell at the raceway both Tuesday and Wednesday, but Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet) and Brian Vickers (No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota) were able to log approximately nine hours of track time over the two days.
“Goodyear had a pretty stout tire here last year, and they want to improve on it if they can. They came here with some different compounds to try, and a good mix of teams and drivers to get feedback,” said Ambrose, who started from the pole in Sonoma in 2012. “We also get a chance to set up the car up with the new technical regulations, which is helpful for the team. Ninety-five percent of the time was getting tires dialed in for Goodyear, and then the rest of the time was for us to see what we’ll need when we come back.”
The two-day test marked the first Goodyear Sprint Cup Series tire test of the year, and is currently the only scheduled road-course test. Goodyear worked closely with the teams and drivers to develop a durable race package while giving teams the appropriate amount of grip.
“It’s always great to do some type of preparation for road racing. Typically we do it at tracks back east that are fun and give us some information, but not accurate information like the track we actually race on in Sonoma,” said Gordon, who has posted five Sonoma victories. “This is definitely something that we’ve been looking forward to because I love the road courses, but any kind of data and information we can get before we come to the race is always beneficial.”