The beat goes on: Dale Jr., Hornish, Menard, Edwards part of Charlotte tire test this week

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After a week of celebration in Las Vegas, four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are heading back to work this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards, along with Sam Hornish Jr. and Paul Menard, will take part in a Goodyear tire test this Tuesday and Wednesday on the 1.5-mile oval.

The session will mark the first on-track sessions for Edwards and Hornish with their respective new teams (Edwards with Joe Gibbs Racing, Hornish with Richard Petty Motorsports). All three of the Sprint Cup manufacturers – Chevy (Earnhardt/Menard), Ford (Hornish), and Toyota (Edwards) – will be represented.

Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on both days. Fans are welcome to view the session from the track’s fifth-floor clubhouse seating; they can access the area by entering the second-floor ticket office and taking the elevator up to the fifth floor.

According to a NASCAR.com article from last week, Goodyear officials are seeking a baseline on how the 2015 rules package on intermediate tracks impacts tire wear.

During the Chase weekend back in October at Charlotte, Goodyear had to warn teams about increased speeds possibly having an adverse effect on the right-front tire during the lead-up to the Bank of America 500.

The warning came one week after Earnhardt, Brad Keselowski and others suffered tire failures at Kansas, another intermediate, 1.5-mile oval.

However, no major tire-related incidents occurred during the Charlotte Chase race, which was won by eventual Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick.

Tire tests like these are sure to take on added importance during the off-season, as NASCAR has now implemented its 2015 ban on all private testing.