SPEEDWAY, Ind. - NASCAR drivers took to the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first round of testing on Tuesday ahead of the Brickyard 400. Drivers took advantage of a mostly clear day at IMS, noting that the Wednesday forecast may not allow for much time on the track.
Among those on the track Tuesday, past winners Jimmie Johnson and Paul Menard as well as Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Kyle Larsen. Drivers noted that the ability to test on the IMS oval well in advance of the Brickyard race is advantageous.
“With four corners, as flat as it is, and as tight as the radiuses are, our big stock cars like to have multiple lanes to race on and there’s really only one lane around here,” four-time Brickyard camp Johnson said. "And our cars don’t tow like or get a draft like the IndyCars do down the straights. It’s a very narrow track, we don’t have a second lane to work, we can’t suck up and pass somebody like an IndyCar does.”
“Working through some things, I was pretty tight to start out, but we’ve gotten it better and better,” Larsen said. “We’re running pretty good lap time, so happy about that. It’s nice to get a handful of laps here. Indy’s difficult because if you look over the top of this, each corner looks the same but they all drive way different.”
Testing will continue Wednesday and is open to the public. Drivers are scheduled to be on the track from 9 am to 5pm, weather permitting, with a break for lunch at noon. Gates 1 and 2 will be open for spectators.
The Brickyard 400 will be held July 24 at IMS. The race is slated to start at 3pm.