Chase-eligible teams – but not drivers – allowed at Homestead tire test

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With Goodyear setting a tire test for Aug. 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, you’d figure that drivers set for this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup would be all over that opportunity.

After all, Homestead is where the last four drivers standing in the Chase will duke it out in a winner-take all battle for the championship in the Nov. 16 Ford EcoBoost 400.

But while NASCAR will invite Chase-eligible teams to take part in the Aug. 26 test on the 1.5-mile oval in South Florida, the sanctioning body has said that Chase-eligible drivers will be barred from the session.

As the Associated Press notes, that creates a problem for Team Penske, which will have to look beyond its two Cup drivers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, for the Homestead test since they’ve both already qualified for the post-season.

However, Penske may not have to look very far. This test could be a job for Ryan Blaney, who has competed part-time for them this year in the Nationwide Series (three Top-5s, six Top-10s in seven starts).

He also has some experience in a Cup car, as he made his top-level debut for the team earlier this year at Kansas.

Issues could also arise for Hendrick Motorsports if its fourth driver, Kasey Kahne, finds a way to qualify. Its other three drivers – Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson – have already locked themselves in. So, if Kahne qualifies, they too will have to look for a sub.

Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing has also qualified, while his two teammates, Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., have not. Unless Biffle and Stenhouse each find a way to win over the next four races – and that would appear to be an iffy prospect at best – you’d figure RFR can use one of these two for the Homestead test.

Fernando Alonso unsure when he will chase Triple Crown at Indy 500

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) — Still glowing from his win at the 24 Hours Le Mans, Fernando Alonso says he is not sure when he will try to complete motorsport’s unofficial Triple Crown with a victory at the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso says Thursday ahead of Formula One’s French Grand Prix that “I am still digesting a little bit the Le Mans win and (.) not taking too much into account (for) next year’s project.”

The two-time F1 world champion won the Le Mans classic endurance race last weekend together with teammates Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

That leaves the Spaniard only one leg short of completing the Triple Crown of wins at Le Mans, Indy 500 and F1’s Monaco GP, which he has won twice.

Alonso raced the Indy 500 for the first time last year but an engine failure with 20 laps left ruined his chances.