Sprint Cup squads go testing at Martinsville Speedway

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Multiple teams are continuing a two-day test session this afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, which will play host to the seventh race of the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup – the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 – on Oct. 27.

Among those testing on NASCAR’s shortest track are the entire stables of Roush Fenway Racing (Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), Richard Childress Racing (Kansas winner Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, and Paul Menard) and Penske Racing (Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski), as well as Furniture Row Racing’s Kurt Busch, Front Row Motorsports’ David Ragan, and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson.

The test is obviously important for everyone involved, but Larson may well be the one that needs it the most. The 21-year-old phenom, who is slated to make his first Sprint Cup start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Phoenix Racing, said in a track press release that his main objective was being able to get out of Martinsville’s tight corners with a good head of steam.

“We’re mainly working on getting through the center [of the turns] and getting good drive off,” Larson said on Tuesday at Martinsville, a track he hadn’t even seen before the test session. “I’ve never been to a track with the long straights and tight corners like this.

“We’ve got pretty good on the long runs. We’re not the fastest, but not the slowest either. We’ve got to get a little better, but I think we’ll be OK for race weekend.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.