COT Is All About Feel
AJ Allmendinger has driven just about every type of NASCAR machine around Atlanta Motor Speedway — a truck, a current Nextel Cup car and, as of Monday morning, a Car of Tomorrow.
The rookie’s favorite?
“I’m more comfortable in the COT cars and I don’t know why,” Allmendinger said. “It has a higher center of gravity and dances around a bit more, but I can control that. With the current car, I’m not really sure. Especially at a track like this, with how bumpy it is, I’m never sure if the car is under me or not. I feel like I have more control with the COT.”
Allmendinger’s No. 84a was one of 52 cars to test Monday morning at Atlanta — the first full-scale session for the new car at a 1.5-mile track. There have been other COT tests this season (Bristol, Richmond and Talladega), but not at a high-speed downforce track. The series’ seventh and final NASCAR-sanctioned test wraps up Tuesday.
Kyle Busch’s No. 18 topped the morning time sheets with a fast lap of 186.190 mph. Red Bull Racing Team’s Brian Vickers flirted with the top 10, as the No. 83b came in 12th (183.948 mph) and the No. 83a in 13th (183.905). Allmendinger was 17th at 183.704 mph. In the afternoon, Allmendinger was sixth at 183.759 mph. Vickers turned the 25th- and 29th-fastest laps (182.009 and 181.711 mph).
Monday morning’s top five:
1. Kyle Busch, 18, 186.190
2. Denny Hamlin, 11, 185.822
3. David Reutimann, 00a, 185.430
4. Carl Edwards, 99a, 184.911
5. Martin Truex Jr., 1b, 184.738
Monday afternoon's top five:
1. Greg Biffle, 16a, 185.158
2. Denny Hamlin, 11, 184.874
3. Kyle Busch, 18, 184.358
4. David Reutimann, 00a, 183.868
5. Martin Truex Jr., 1a, 183.777