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

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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:

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.