Top NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez participated today in the first of two days of Goodyear Tire testing at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for the Sept. 24 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 playoff race.
The session began at 6 a.m. CT with the day‘s weather forecast calling for rain early in the day and triple-digit temperatures in the afternoon. Just a few laps were completed by the Team Penske, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Trackhouse Racing teams before rain showers red-flagged the on-track activity for nearly two hours.
Logano and Suarez met with the media at the conclusion of the on-track activity. Hamlin was not available for comment after the session.
Logano is a two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion (2022, 2018) and has 32 NASCAR Cup Series career victories, including the Spring 2014 race at Texas Motor Speedway. He is already qualified for the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs with the win March 19 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“This is a unique race track when you think about the layout of it,” said the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. “When they repaved it (in 2017) … flat, wide in (Turns) 1 and 2, off the gas. And (Turns) 3 and 4 are almost wide open. You can do it for a lap or two on new tires or if the track temps are a little bit cooler.
It‘s just a unique place, a lot different than what it used to be, for sure, but it also makes it very challenging to set up your race car because the amount of banking change from one end to the other is unlike anywhere else we go.”
Suarez is the first and still only Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race (Sonoma 2022). He is currently 15th in 2023 point standings after his runner-up finish July 9 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His best Texas Motor Speedway finishes are a pair of third-place showings in the two races held in 2019.
“Texas (Motor Speedway) is a place that is very quick,” said the driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet. “I was talking to my team about that this morning, about how it took me a few laps to get used to the high speeds that we have here in Texas in comparison to what we see sometimes in other places. It‘s a very tricky place and I‘m glad we‘re here testing to figure out a few things.”
Texas Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark Faber was also on hand to speak with the media.
“I want to thank Goodyear and the drivers and teams for coming out into this Texas heat to determine the right tire to bring back in September for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 weekend,” said Faber. “It‘s an exciting time, not only for NASCAR but for all of motorsports. Rising tides raise all ships so we‘re looking at every aspect of how we can provide a great fan experience for our guests. There‘s a lot in store for our fans to enjoy during our NASCAR Playoffs weekend, on the track and off.”
All three teams are scheduled to return to Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday for the second and final day of tire testing.
The NASCAR Playoffs weekend will be highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy‘s Frozen Custard 300 on Saturday, September 23, 2023 (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, and PRN), and the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 on Sunday, September 24, 2023 (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, PRN, and 95.9 The Ranch-local).
Texas Motor Speedway‘s always-busy events schedule is well underway. Upcoming 2023 events include Solar Car Challenge (July 13-15), Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR Playoffs weekend (September 23-24), Goodguys‘ Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals (September 29-October 1), Speedway Children‘s Charities Smoke Show (October 11) and Gordy‘s Hwy 30 Music Fest (October 19-22). The year wraps up with the family-favorite and speedway tradition Gift of Lights holiday light show.
— Texas Motor Speedway —