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NASCAR: New 2015 rules options go under the microscope at Michigan test


Yesterday Jeff Gordon rolled into victory lane at Michigan International Speedway, and today, several NASCAR teams are back at the track in what could be an important day for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Aero, engine and tire adjustments are on the docket for today’s test. NASCAR is examining reducing more downforce, and Goodyear is expected to bring a stickier tire, per NASCAR.com.

“We have a prime rules package and also will be doing a low downforce package, because some of the drivers have been very vocal,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, vice president Innovation and Racing Development for NASCAR, via NASCAR.com.

Those testing include Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin and either Clint Bowyer or Brian Vickers.

Here’s a couple early morning updates from NBCSN NASCAR AMERICA insider Nate Ryan, who is at the test:

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe
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MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

  • 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish

For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.

Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.

The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.

Race Recap: Hamilton closes on third title at Russia (VIDEO)

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Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.

View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.