MIAMI – Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and more than 15 of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars tested their cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway today in preparation of the Ford EcoBoost 400, November 16. The two-day session will conclude on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Seven of the eight drivers in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took their cars to the track today to test and tune their cars as much as they can before heading to South Florida in November, where they could possibly be one of the Championship 4 drivers racing for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“That’s why you see so many cars down here testing,” Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford Fusion for Team Penske said. “It’s all going to come down to Homestead. Making sure you have a fast car down here is important because that’s going to be the difference of winning a championship or not. I think you’re going to have to win here to win the Championship.”
“This is really a key test for us,” Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion for Team Penske said. “It’s our final test, with NASCAR’s testing ban, so there’s something to be said for that. We’ve have solid performances here, but we want to find a little bit more to be able to win. You have to enter Homestead with the expectation that you have to win to win the Championship and we’ve got two cars here in the hunt to be able to do that.”
Logano, who has won a pole here (2012), and Keselowski, who won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship are both still standing in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and could clinch a spot with a win at Texas this weekend or Phoenix next weekend.
Two drivers also testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway today are Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Hendrick Motorsports. The pair finished first and second at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, respectively, and Gordon is still in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in the Eliminator Round. Earnhardt was eliminated following the final race of the Contender Round at Talladega.
“We’re in a bit of a different situation than Jeff is,” Earnhardt said. “We’re looking forward to the race. We feel like we had a good car here last year, we just want to learn a few more things and looking forward to the race.”
“It’s all about speed,” Gordon said. “This is a very challenging racetrack, especially in the heat of the day. It’s difficult to get the balance right on this track. We have had some good cars here the last couple of years and want to simulate that. We hope that we’re in the battle for the Championship when we come back here, and if we are, we have a car that can win the race.”
Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards is also still in contention for the Championship title, and headed to South Florida to work on his car as well and learn more about the 1.5-mile oval.
“It’s nice to come down here, the weather is beautiful and this is one of my favorite racetracks,” Edwards said. “We’re hoping to be as prepared as we can be for a championship battle at Ford Championship Weekend. It’s an opportunity to make sure if we are one of the final four that we can perform.”
Ford Championship Weekend will again serve as the championship weekend for all three of NASCAR’s premier series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on November 14-16. For the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, four drivers will compete for the championship after surviving the nine-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup elimination series, and compete in a full 43-car field for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion title. For more information about Ford Championship Weekend, visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.