Goodyear announced that they will be conducting a tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on December 9th and 10th to get a baseline heading into next year, as a result of the new rules package for intermediate tracks that includes a reduction of horsepower and less downforce.
NASCAR.com announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Hornish Jr. and Carl Edwards are scheduled to test – along with a driver from Richard Childress Racing.Interestingly, each of the three drivers testing is faced with a change for the new year. Earnhardt Jr. will be working with a new crew chief, Greg Ives, as Steve LeTarte moves on to work in the NBC Broadcast booth; Ives led Chase Elliott to the Nationwide Series Championship this past season. Meanwhile, Hornish Jr. is taking over the ride previously piloted by Marcos Ambrose, as Ambrose heads back to Australia to race in the V8 Supercars. Hornish Jr. ran a partial schedule last year for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series, and will be partnered with Drew Blickensderfer. Lastly, Edwards makes the move to JGR after spending all of his career to date at RFR. JGR has yet to announce Edwards’ crew chief or pit crew.
Beyond the change in horsepower and downforce, teams will also be testing an adjustable track bar and the size of the radiator pan has been decreased from 43 to 38 inches.
NASCAR has banned private testing for 2015, but scheduled tire tests by Goodyear are still allowed for both Goodyear and the teams to gather on-track information. Goodyear determines before the test which teams are allowed to participate in the test, changing up the list each time to allow an even variety. It is up to the team as to which driver conducts the test.
Goodyear officials added there is the possibility of another test being scheduled in January at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.