NASCAR: Dates set for end-of-season awards in Las Vegas, Miami

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For the sixth year, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams will celebrate their season in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NASCAR announced today that the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards are set for Friday, Dec. 5 at Wynn Las Vegas.

The ceremony serves as the grand finale for Champion’s Week, which, in addition to the Awards, also features a variety of experiences for fans to enjoy in and around Sin City.

Additionally, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series will stage a joint end-of-season awards ceremony on Monday, Nov. 17 at the Trump National Doral Miami in Miami, Florida. This ceremony will honor both series’ driver and owner champions and their respective Top 5 drivers.

“NASCAR’s postseason celebrations continue to be highly anticipated, can’t-miss events on the season’s calendar,” NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar said in the same statement.

“Las Vegas was built on world-class entertainment, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and Champion’s Week fit perfectly.

“In addition, we’re thrilled to shift the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards to Trump National Doral Miami. It’s a first-class property that will certainly provide an elevated experience for our industry and our championship teams.”

Last year’s NNS and Truck Series awards were also staged in Miami, but at a different venue.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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