The Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car debuted Monday at Richmond International Raceway. A cool surface created grip and fast conditions, which may threaten RIR's track record when teams return for the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday, April 27.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya along with Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose with Richard Petty Motorsports put their Chevrolet SS and Ford Fusion rides through the paces on the short track as part of a two-day test.
The four drivers, along with the rest of the Sprint Cup field, will shoot for the standard set by Brian Vickers in 2004 with the Generation-4 car at 20.772 seconds, 129.983 mph.
"The track is extremely fast," said Almirola. "When we rolled out on the track at 9 this morning, it was still kind of cool, and the track had a lot of grip. We were running lap times close to the pole speed in race trim. Really surprised at how fast the track was and how fast our cars were."
"This morning was a lot of fun," said Montoya. "The track was really cool this morning so it was crazy fast. It's a good place when you need to find some traction. There's a lot of things you can work on here."
"(The Gen-6 car has) so much more grip than what we had last year," said McMurray. "I think it would be hard to find anybody say they don't like that. It turns better. It has more drive off. Everything's better about it."
The Richmond race weekend gets under way on Thursday, April 25 with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 and the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown presented by FedEx. The Nationwide Series hits the track on Friday, April 26 for the ToyotaCare 250, followed by the Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday, April 27.
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