Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NASCAR enacts ban on testing at tracks in top three series

HOMESTEAD — NASCAR's 2009 ban on testing at tracks hosting national touring series events was warily praised in the garage on Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But teams were already speculating — as they do with any rules change — on how to work around it.

As the economy squeezes the sport's finances ever tighter, NASCAR hopes to curtail costs for teams that spend upward of $100,000 per day testing.

"I think it's warranted based on the significant times that we've got in front of us," said NASCAR president Mike Helton.

Driver Jeff Burton was concerned about a possible effect on competition, but admitted that drastic action might be warranted. The concern among teams is that without testing — which provides data about particular tracks preceding a race there — the quality of competition could suffer. Teams that are behind catch up by testing. They can still pay to use facilities that do not host top-three series races, but the information gained is not as valuable.

"I've never been part of a sport where testing was banned. So I'm not sure of the consequences of that," Burton said. "I do believe that testing is a way for a struggling team to improve but I also believe that we're in severe times and we need to have severe actions."

Ray Evernham, minority owner of Gillett Everham Motorsports, said two key factors will determine whether the policy is effective.

"The No. 1 priority should always be good competition, because if we don't have good competition, you don't have people in the grandstands," he said. "No. 2, obviously, is economics. NASCAR's got to take a responsibility because racers will put themselves into extinction. If I had the most money, I'm going to do what's the best for me."

The ban is to take effect Jan. 1, and driver Jeff Gordon joked with crew chief Steve Letarte inside his hauler on Friday that they would spend December testing.

Team owner Rick Hendrick advocates using data acquisition telemetry on Friday of each race weekend as mini tests. That plan would require a major shift in stance, however, considering NASCAR's institutional resistance to using such technology on race weekends. The concern, said retired driver Dale Jarrett, is that teams would find ways to use devices like illegal traction control.

TEAM CHIP 'N' DALE: General Motors NASCAR field director Pat Suhy said Dale Earnhardt Inc. has not told him if it wishes to continue using Chevy engines when it merges with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009. Ganassi is a Dodge affiliate.

"It doesn't matter what I want them to be," Suhy said. "They need to make a decision on their own needs and what kind of support they can get from either organization and what they think is in their best interests."

DEI vice president of motorsports operations John Story declined comment on the merger "until we've communicated with the employees."

The new DEI/Ganassi hybrid, a collaboration of two organizations that collectively have 10 wins since 2004 (six by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004), will use drivers Aric Almirola, Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex and an unnamed fourth in 2009.

NASCAR enacts ban on testing at tracks in top three series 11/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 8:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  3. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  4. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.