TEAMS PREPARE FOR UPCOMING O'REILLY AUTO PARTS 300 DURING TEST SESSION AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TMS Media Relations | Apr 03, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 3, 2013) - For NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers the next challenge on the schedule is Texas Motor Speedway as the series takes the weekend off before the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 12. Drivers from Turner Scott Motorsports and JR Motorsports got a chance to get a head start on the competition with a private test session on Monday and Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Turner Scott Motorsports drivers Justin Allgaier, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Kyle Larson, along with JR Motorsports drivers Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith and Brad Sweet, participated in the two-day test that provided valuable information in preparation for next Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.
"The biggest thing we've looked at is how the tires matchup to the racetrack," Allgaier said. "How our cars are going to run. We have the new (Chevrolet) Camaro. This is the first time that Turner Scott has come here with the new Camaro and obviously Texas is fast. It is one of the fastest mile-and-a-halves that we go to. It's fun, but we are just trying to get a good balance of the car and see how the car changes throughout the day."
The test session also afforded Nationwide Series rookie sensation Kyle Larson his first laps around the 1.5-mile speedway. Larson, just 20-years-old and immersed in his first full season in NASCAR, has faced the battle of unfamiliarity as he has made his track debut at four of the first five speedways the series has competed at this year.
However, Larson has not been hindered by his lack of experience. He has tallied top-10 finishes in his two previous outings, including a thrilling runner-up finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last month. For him, the opportunity to get ahead of the learning curve will help him when he returns for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.
"It means a lot because this is my first time here," Larson said. "When we come back next week I will have already had laps on the track so I should be able to start off practice a little better. Most places that I haven't gone to before, I spend the first two or three runs trying to get used to the track. When I come back we will start off right away working on the car rather than me working on how to get around the track."
Larson's teammate and fellow Nationwide Series rookie driver Piquet Jr. understands the value of track time. Piquet Jr. made the move from Formula One to the Camping World Truck Series in 2010.
Now four years into his NASCAR career and his first competing full time in the Nationwide Series, finding the opportunity to collect more information serves as a valuable asset to teams and drivers looking to get a grasp in a new series.
"Days like this are very important to us," Piquet Jr. said. "We are trying to get the most out of it. We are trying to test as much as we can and try to learn as much as we can because it is very important for us. Coming over here one or two days before the race gets us closer to big teams like Roush (Fenway Racing), (Joe) Gibbs (Racing), RCR (Richard Childress Racing), which have a lot of information. This for sure helps us a lot and is very beneficial for us. When we get these days we have to make the most out of them."
The teams will put their notes to work when they return to Fort Worth for the series' first nighttime race of the 2013 season during the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT.
Tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race are available by calling the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.