NNS: Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott among those running Iowa ‘confirmation test’

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A group of five drivers that includes former Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) will take part in a “confirmation test” tomorrow at Iowa Speedway ahead of the track’s Nationwide Series race on Sunday, May 18.

NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce reports that Nationwide regulars Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports), Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing), and Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing), as well as Joe Gibbs Racing part-timer Sam Hornish Jr., will also turn laps tomorrow at Iowa.

“It’s basically a confirmation test for the track,” NNS director Wayne Auton said. “There are a couple of areas we want to look at and, if necessary, address before we get into the race week.

“We told the teams they can bring as many drivers as they want, but we limited them to just the five cars. There’s an open test on Friday of race week, so we believe everyone will have [adequate] track time.”

The track reports that testing will take place from 10 a.m.-Noon CT and again from 1-6 p.m. CT. Fans are invited to watch the proceedings from backstretch viewing areas.

The Get To Know Newton 250 race will mark the first event for the track since it was purchased by NASCAR last year. Also on the docket this year are an IndyCar/Camping World Truck Series weekend in July and a second Nationwide appearance in August.

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.”