The Sprint Cup Series' annual preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway gets underway on Thursday, and while it's the second superspeedway test of the new Sprint Cup Series car, it will be the first time in the car at a restrictor plate track for many drivers. Seven teams participated in the Talladega test.
Of course, the big storyline over the weekend will once again be the new cars and how they drive and handle, especially in the draft. Drafting will be allowed in the afternoon test sessions. For those of you who aren't fans of the tandem drafting, you got a good early sign at Talladega when the new Gen-6 car was generally more unstable in a two car tandem than the COTs were.
Daytona testing will probably be the biggest indicator of how recognizable the new body styles are for manufacturers, given that many cars will feature bare paint schemes. With the COT, cars without manufacturer decals were virtually indistinguishable to the naked eye without other visual cues. With the closer resemblances to cars on the showroom floor, the goal is that all fans should be able to recognize and distinguish the three manufacturers' car models from each other.
It's also pretty much anyone's guess who will top the speed charts. The Roush Fords (namely, Matt Kenseth) were incredible at plate tracks last year, but it stands to reason that with the new rules package, that advantage could be gone.
If you're looking for your NASCAR fix, testing coverage is available on SPEED.com in the mornings and on SPEED channel in the afternoons on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you find yourself checking in on single car runs at work on Thursday and Friday, you likely have an addiction. And it's nice to find others who do.