Cup drivers expecting speeds to go up at Kansas

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If Sprint Cup drivers’ comments during today’s Goodyear tire test at Kansas Speedway are an indication, we can expect to see track records fall next month on the 1.5-mile oval.

More than a dozen Sprint Cup teams were represented in the test, with Goodyear allowing each team to field one car. As reported earlier by NBCSN contributor and USA Today’s Nate Ryan, the test was designed to confirm the tire manufacturer’s choice for the Kansas night race on May 10 – the 11th race of the 2014 season.

“The speeds are going to increase,” Brian Vickers said to reporters at the track. “What we’re working on today is to come up with a great tire to provide great racing. Goodyear is always in constant pursuit of that.

“Sometimes we nail it, sometimes we miss a little bit. But for night racing, speeds typically increase, and that always presents extra challenges.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also said that he expects the speeds to go up, but especially hopes that the racing groove will continue to grow.

“It seemed like the groove gets more spread out through the corners, and the winter this year looks like it’s aged it pretty quick,” he said. “So it’s a good thing. Hopefully, we can pick out the right tires today so we can have some good racing when we come back.”

Kevin Harvick

Rodney Childers, Kevin Harvick’s crew chief

Justin Allgaier

source:

Michael Annett

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”