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NASCAR Cup: 2018 changes on display during test at Texas Motor Speedway

Chase Elliott's No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on track during a Goodyear tire test at Texas Motor Speedway on Jan. 9, 2018 (photo courtesy of Chevrolet)

Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on track during a Goodyear tire test at Texas Motor Speedway on Jan. 9, 2018 (photo courtesy of Chevrolet)


Four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers/teams hit the track for the first time in 2018 for a two-day Goodyear tire test at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth on Tuesday and Wednesday. Drivers/teams participating in the test included 2017 Cup Series champions Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team, the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team of Chase Elliott, the No. 12 Team Penske Ford team of Ryan Blaney and the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team of Aric Almirola.

Elliott’s first laps on the track in his renumbered 9 (from No. 24) on Tuesday were the first for Chevrolet’s new Camaro ZL1 Cup Series car. The Camaro ZL1 replaces the SS model that Chevrolet discontinued last year.

“Behind the wheel it’s really hard to tell what changes are when you are out there by yourself,” Elliott said during a midday break on the first day of testing. “I think the changes will probably become more apparent, hopefully, when we get to, say, Atlanta or get to some of the tracks that the changes are going to become important at. I think until we get into those situations and kind of get some races under our belt,  as not only an organization, but as a manufacturer, as a whole, to see exactly how we stack up, I think it will be tough to say until then.”

Meanwhile, Blaney and Almirola made their debuts with new teams.

“Today is my first opportunity to climb behind the wheel of the No. 10 @SmithfieldBrand Ford Fusion. Day 1 of the @GoodyearRacing test at @TXMotorSpeedway rolls on,” Almirola (@Aric_Almirola) tweeted.

Other testing highlights

Elliott isn’t changing to please fans:

“I’m not as active as a lot of people are on Twitter. I think that’s just because that is the way my personality is,” Elliott said. “I’m not going to jump out of the box of my personality to appease other people – never have been that way and I’m not going to be that way.”

Ryan Blaney’s flowing locks and significant facial hair — hair today; gone tomorrow:

“This will definitely let me know the season is about here and you have to start looking like a professional,” Blaney said of an upcoming haircut and shave.

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Check out the video of the Camaro ZL1’s first laps:

Chase Elliott discusses testing Chevrolet’s new race car:

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Posted by on January 12, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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