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NASCAR Cup: latest ‘roval’ test gets sketchy

CHARLOTTE, NC – JULY 10: Kurt Busch manuevers the 41 car through the backstretch at The Roval during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 10, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

A second group of 14 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers tested the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway “roval” Tuesday, ahead of the Sept. 30 running of the Bank of America Roval 400, the elimination race of the first round of this year’s playoffs. Approximately half of the full-time Cup Series teams and drivers tested the road course-oval hybrid the previous week.

Drivers among the first group to test the track on July 10, including seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne, claimed that there are few opportunities to pass on the course. Johnson said pit road would be the best place to pass, and Kahne said he didn’t know where passing could occur. But Joey Logano, who participated in Tuesday’s test session claimed there were several areas in which to pass.

“There’ll be plenty of opportunity to pass, for sure, but you’re going to have to get the pass done and move on, because two-wide is going to kill your lap time, and you’re going to lose touch with the cars around you,” Logano said.

Logano said the “roval” is unlike the Waktins Glen (N.Y.) International and Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway road courses the series has already raced at for several years.

“Overall, I think the racetrack is fun,” Logano said at the test Tuesday. “It’s different than any other road course we go to, which I don’t think is a bad thing in any way.”

The “roval” course includes most of the traditional oval, and according to A. J. Allmendinger, who also participated in the test on Tuesday, the infield road-course portion races like a short track, including short track-type contact.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of contact, for sure,” Allmendinger said, echoing predictions made during the first test. “Through the infield, it’s fairly narrow.”

Ryan Blaney and William Byron made contact with a tire barrier in separate incidents. Byron’s incident ended his participation in the test, and Blaney’s incident resulted in the unloading of a backup car. Alex Bowman and Erik Jones also had problems in Tuesday’s test but were able to continue in primary cars.

The test session was halted temporarily for the removal of a set of rumble strips in turn eight, which transitions into turn one of the traditional oval course.

The roval is 2.28 miles and features a 35-foot elevation change, 17 turns and two chicanes. The Bank of America Roval 400 will be a 109-lap, 400 km race.

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Posted by on July 20, 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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