Thankful for Tire Testing
Considering NASCAR put the kibosh on testing, traveling 2,200 miles to the west just before Christmas isn’t all that bad.
Brian Vickers’ No. 83 Red Bull Toyota is one of four Sprint Cup machines to participate in the two-day Goodyear tire test today and Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s a critical test, too, because Red Bull Racing Team — and other Cup teams — is doing no testing on its own and this gives new crew chief Ryan Pemberton a chance to get to know the No. 83 bunch outside of the race shop’s walls.
“With Ryan coming on board,” said Elton Sawyer, the team’s competition director, “we have the opportunity to have him and Brian work together for a couple of days. We’re thankful for the couple of days we have out there. Very thankful.”
All four makes are represented, as Vickers joins Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Ford, Mark Martin’s No. 5 Chevrolet and David Stremme’s No. 12 Dodge in preparation for the March 1 Shelby 427.
“We have to continue to test tires and put out a good product on Sundays for the viewing public,” Sawyer said. “We’re just participating in the test. Goodyear has its own test plan; they’ll map out their runs. We’ll get the opportunity early today to shake the car down to where it’s well balanced and Brian can run some laps. And Goodyear certainly will do its tire development.”