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NASCAR Xfinity: Matt DiBenedetto gives Indy road course rave review

NASCAR Xfinity test on road course at IMS with Matt DiBenedetto Indianapolis Motor Speedway Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 Image by Walt Kuhn

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto piloted a No. 22 Team Penske Ford NASCAR Xfinity Series car around the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday to assist NASCAR and IMS preparations for the Xfinity Series race ion the IMS road course July 4. That race will be the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the facility’s infield road course.

“I’d consider this one of the big things (to happen in my life),” DiBenedetto said. “Opportunities like this are things I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. I’ll be able to say forever, ‘Hey, I got asked by Mr. Penske himself, that whole team, by NASCAR, folks at IMS, everyone, to come and be the first ever to run the road course and test it out for the NASCAR Xfinity gang.”

The test was held, primarily, to determine the exact course. Two circuit options are being considered. One layout being considered is a 12-turn, high-speed layout that is nearly identical to the layout for the US Grand Prix Formula One race between 2000 and 2007. The other is a 14-turn, technical layout used by the NTT IndyCar Series for the yearly GMR Grand Prix.

DiBenedetto liked both layouts.

“The cool thing is, what we love as road racers is heavy braking zones, and clearly, the end of the front straightaway here, you have a very heavy braking zone,” DiBenedetto said. “There’s high-speed stuff. There’s low-speed stuff, so it’s pretty much everything we could ask for from a competitor’s standpoint for raceability.”

According to Xfinity Series director Wayne Auton, engine and tire data and input from DiBenedetto and the No. 22 team will be evaluated at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., to determine the appropriate track layout for the race.

“We want to put on the best show that we can for the fans; we want to put on the best show for NBC, which this race will be on, and definitely, we want to make sure that the NASCAR Xfinity Series shines here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Auton said.

DiBenedetto will not be allowed to enter the Xfinity Series race at the road course, because of his participation in Wednesday’s test session. Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be converted back to its traditional oval right after the Xfinity Series race for the following day’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard race for the Cup Series, a race in which DiBenedetto will compete as driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford.

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Posted by on January 24, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. 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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