Persistent rain has postponed a critical NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Texas Motor Speedway for the upcoming AAA Texas 500 as Chase contenders Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing departed Tuesdayand rescheduled their plans for next week.
The four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations had planned for an extensive three-day test session beginning Monday, but the lingering inclement weather did not allow the teams to participate in any on-track activity on the opening day. The teams were hopeful Tuesday, but the forecast had a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms and they all opted to pack up after intermittent rain began falling in the morning.
Following Sunday's Chase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will return to Texas Motor Speedway and begin a three-day test session Monday from 3-10 p.m. CT. The teams also are planning to run Tuesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (with a two-hour break from 4-6 p.m.) and Wednesday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Richard Childress Racing also will be part of the teams testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The teams are preparing for the Nov. 3 AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that could prove pivotal to their championship aspirations. Overall, the test could feature as many as nine of the 13 drivers competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including the top six currently in the championship standings.
Among the drivers who were scheduled for the original test session and expected to return are five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports; current championship leader and 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing; Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and possibly Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing; and Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing. Richard Childress Racing is slated to have Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard at the test.
Next week's three-day test will be open to the public free of charge. Gate 4 - the main entrance - will be open for fans to enter the grandstands just prior to the start of the session and will remain open until the conclusion of the test session each day. Fans can park in the VIP/PSL parking lot located just outside Gate 4. The restroom facilities will be available but concession stands will be closed so fans are encouraged to bring their coolers.