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Day 1: Charlotte Test for 2013 Cars, Cars Lighter, No Sway Bar, Keselowski Spins

December 11th, 2012 at 6:49 PM
By Clayton Caldwell

There was a lot of new going around Charlotte Motor Speedway this afternoon as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tested their 2013 cars for the first time. As could be expected, there was a lot learned today by teams and a lot learned by fans and media members. 

The first thing learned was that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are 150 pounds lighter than the previous car known as the "Car of Tomorrow". The COT weighed 3,450 pounds. The 6th generation 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars will weight 3,300 pounds. The car also will be without a sway bar on every track except for road courses. 

'Charlotte AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway - Panorama' photo (c) 2009, Kreg Steppe - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

When the cars hit the track, Brad Keselowski spun out his #2 Miller Lite Ford and Matt Kenseth missed a shift and blew his engine in his #20 Toyota in his first test session with Joe Gibbs Racing. The cars would run single file, qualifying trim for the first part of the day and ran in packs the second part of the day so NASCAR could gather data in pack racing. 

The drivers reviews were generally good, but they understand there is a long way to go in the process of building these cars. 

"The car has really awesome potential,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said following a couple of hours of testing Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I like it already leaps and bounds beyond the COT, the old car we ran. This car really gives me a lot of sensations that are similar to the old car that we ran 10 years ago. It’s still early. I’m trying not to get too excited or trying not to get far too big of an opinion or too solid opinion of the car. We still have a lot to learn about it. … I don’t know enough to make a good enough anticipation of whether this thing will do everything everybody wants it to do. But I’m excited.”

Brad Keselowski commented about the day as well. Keselowski said it's hard to tell how the manufacture change will effect his season in 2013. 

"It's hard to get a great read on the whole manufacturer change because, obviously, it's a different car," Keselowski said. "But I think all the signs are there that we have the potential to be just as strong, if not stronger, than we were last year, which is very, very encouraging. We still have to work for it and make it happen, but the signs are there." 

Sixteen cars in all tested today at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Regan Smith setting the fastest time in the Hendrick Motorsports #24 Chevrolet normally driven by Jeff Gordon. 

Tags: Brad Keselowski, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, matt kenseth, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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