Monday, January 19, 2015

Kenseth, Keselowski thankful for Las Vegas test

   Sprint Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger took part in a Goodyear tire test Monday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in preparation for the March 8 race this season.

   The test was the first on-track test drivers had of the new changes this season, including a reduction in horsepower and a modified aero package.

   With a new ban on private testing, Kenseth and Keselowski said any chance to test on the track is a welcome one.

   “I think any track time you get is really important with the new testing rules, banning all off-season testing, which I think we all like, but you’ve really got to take advantage of the tests when you get them and try to gather as much information as you can – hopefully useful information that you can use down the road,” Kenseth said.

   “For us, we didn’t run particularly well last year and we’ve got a new nose on the Camry this year and new rules changes and aero package and all that stuff, so we’re just trying to get it sorted out and try to find a baseline and hopefully find something that drives good so we’ve got something decent when we come back here."

     Keselowski, the defending winner of both the Cup and Xfinity series races at Las Vegas, agreed.

    “More so than the changes to the car, the testing ban makes every test you do have that much more critical because you have so much less,” Keselowski said. “In that light, a lot of what testing is isn’t always developing the car, but you’re developing your people, developing your techniques. We added two or three more people to our team so we’re trying to develop them and get them up to speed, so it’s really a great time for us as a team to have a test.”

    Paul Wolfe, Keselowski’s crew chief, said the lone test before the teams head to Daytona was a productive one but didn’t answer all of his questions.

   "It’s still hard to tell (how the changes will impact us). It’ll take some different style tracks and different style tires because that’s one of the big factors for us in how our car handles," Wolfe said. "There are certain tracks and tire combinations that favor us and that we run really well with and there are others where you could say we’re not as strong. It’s hard to say, just based off this one test, if we feel like we’re where we need to be.”

Tragic accident claims life of Dover (DE) International Speedway employee

Track press release

   Dover International Speedway is mourning the loss of a dedicated employee who died yesterday from injuries sustained during a multi-vehicle collision on I-476 in Broomall, Pa.

   Jason Anderson, 33, senior director of ticket sales and operations for Dover International Speedway, died in the accident. Jason was a dedicated husband, father, employee and friend. He will be greatly missed.

   “Jason’s death is a tragic loss for all of us who considered him a close friend as well as a loss for Dover International Speedway,” said President Mike Tatoian. “He was an exemplary employee who always put customers and co-workers first. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this very difficult time.”

   Anderson was a member of the Dover Motorsports, Inc. team for six years, and moved to Dover, Del. after operations were ceased at Memphis Motorsports Park. He worked at the New Orleans Saints prior to joining the Dover team. He was a proud Syracuse University graduate and recently received his master’s degree in Sports Management from Ohio University.

   Memorial services will be announced when more information is available.

   You can read a news report of the accident here.