Filed under: Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Daytona Int'l Speedway, NASCAR Sponsors, NASCAR Testing, Sprint Cup, NASCAR
The freshly repaved track at Daytona International Speedway is smooth, has plenty of grip and plenty of room for racing, said NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers who participated in Wednesday's Goodyear tire tests at the track.
"They smoothed out all the bumps," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion. "The track is real smooth. It's got a lot of grip. The track reminds me a lot like Talladega was like when they first finished it.
"The racing during the drafting was exciting and I think it is going to be a good show, a more exciting show for the fans because the cars are going to stay real tight on each other throughout entire runs."
The speedway said 18 drivers took part in the tire test Wednesday -- the first day of a two-day Goodyear test to determine the proper tire compound for the 2.5-mile speedway's new racing surface before the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. Drivers turned laps on the speedway in both single car and drafting sessions.
It was the first time race cars have been on the track at speed since the repaving job was completed earlier this month. From July to December, the entire track was repaved for only the second time since it was built and opened in 1959.