NASCAR Postpones Two-Day Short Track Package Test; Changes Venue to Richmond Raceway
After expected inclement weather, the two-day short track package test session planned for July 17th and 18th has been moved to July 31st and August 1st, and will now take place at Richmond Raceway.
UPDATE (JULY 14):
With inclement weather expected to hit New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, NASCAR has elected to make a change to its testing schedule.
A two-day test session, which the sanctioning body scheduled to test a brand-new short track package, has been postponed from its original date of July 17th and 18th.
Plus, in order to better correspond with the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the sanctioning body has chosen to move the test to Richmond Raceway, where the series is scheduled to visit later this month.
As such, the test session will now take place on Monday, July 31st, and Tuesday, August 1st - directly following the venue's second NASCAR Cup Series event of 2023.
The six-driver roster for the test session is expected to remain the same.
ORIGINAL STORY (JULY 10):
After much discussion throughout the NASCAR Cup Series garage this past weekend, NASCAR has announced the scheduling of a two-day test session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17 and 18.
While the sanctioning body has yet to officially confirm the purpose of the test session, it is widely believed that the session is meant to be the next step in cultivating an improved aero package for the short tracks and road courses.
Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing), Harrison Buton (Wood Brothers Racing), William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports), Justin Haley (Kaulig Racing), Ryan Preece (Stewart-Haas Racing), and Erik Jones (LEGACY MOTOR CLUB) will be present at the test session.
Asked about the changes implemented for the session, Bell, the only current Toyota driver scheduled to participate in the test session, says the data that has been provided on the new package looks 'definitely optimistic'.
"The way that I understand it is we have made a splitter that creates lift in clean air, and the goal is, whenever you get into traffic and you lose air flow to your splitter, you would essentially have more downforce than you would by yourself," Bell explained.
William Byron, a four-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series this season, says that the front splitter change being made to the vehicles for the two-day test in New Hampshire is expected to take away more than 50% of the downforce.
"It's quite a bit different than what we have now," Byron said. "So, it should change everything really, how it affects the car. Hopefully, that leads to good passing and good racing, hopefully, in the test we can race around each other."
"I just hope it's not too bad to drive by yourself, to where you're on pins and needles out there," Byron continued. "I hope that it's a good change, that you can make laps by yourself, and you can race hard with others and not feel the effects as much."
Ryan Preece, driver of the No. 41 for Stewart-Haas Racing, echoed the sentiments of Byron, saying: "I just want to create great racing for the fans, great racing for us drivers where we have to work really hard, and we can pass if we have a better car than somebody in front of us. We're all working hard to accomplish that."
At the end of the two-day testing session at New Hampshire next week, the hope is to have an improved short track package for NASCAR's premier series, or at least a direction to further travel in that would provide improved racing on the series' smaller tracks in the coming years.
Image Courtesy of James Gilbert, Getty Images