Friday, January 25, 2008

NASCAR testing begins on the West Coast!

Daytona testing is complete. The media tour is done, the media members are checking in with stories after being feted, wined and dined, and by now, all of the buffet tables are cleared, packed up, and the shops are back to business as usual.

Business as usual also for the transporter drivers heading out for a long trip to the West Coast. Reports had them leaving Wednesday and Thursday, so we should see them rolling into Vegas this weekend.

This year, there are two test sessions, one at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and one at California Speedway. Both should be very important to finding the right set-up for the COT on the intermediate tracks.

First up, Vegas! After a predicted round of storms, the weather should be cool and clear for the testing session on Monday and Tuesday.

Second, Thursday and Friday will find the SoCal fans flocking to testing at California Speedway. There will be a test session that extends into night on Thursday. The original idea was that the track in Fontana has a night race, but I am unsure of how testing in January in temperatures in the 40's will give any information for cars running in September with temps in the 90's to 100's.

Fans will have access to both testing sessions. For once, Cali will have a better deal for fans, as they will be allowing access to the infield bleachers for a pittance of a charitable donation.

LVMS has missed the mark on not allowing fans into the Neon Garage for testing. In addition, they have been ineffective in communicating that to the fans. One caption posted on their site on January 9th claimed fans WOULD be allowed in, while other articles, and an 'insiders' newsletter claimed no access allowed. It took an email to a writer for the local newspaper to get clarification on this.

And, California Speedway has even scheduled some Driver/Fan interactions. Gillian Zucker was on Sirius this morning, and she claims that she is thrilled with the way fan participation has increased over the years, for testing sessions at California. See, California Speedway CAN get it right, and do something better than Bruton Smith's Las Vegas Motor Speedway.