May 01, 2013  |   By Tom Surber

NASCAR Sprint Cup Speed Limit Rises During Test At IMS

The NASCAR speed limit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will climb this July, as the new Gen-6 car was very fast during a private Goodyear tire test April 30 on the 2.5-mile oval.

Testing Tuesday and Wednesday at IMS were four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon, two-time Brickyard 400 winner Tony Stewart, reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Mark Martin and 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch. Goodyear and drivers are preparing for the 20th Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on July 28 at IMS, and it only took one day of testing to notice the extra speed in the new car.

“These new 2013 cars are really fast,” Bayne said. “This morning we were faster than qualifying speeds with race trim, so that was kind of cool to see with the amount of grip we have with the new rear-ends, and the tire that Goodyear built was really fast.”

Gordon likes the combination of the Gen-6 car and the Goodyear tires, and he couldn’t believe the speed of his car.

“I had a break and I was on Twitter, and I saw somebody retweet Mark’s (Martin) tweet about going 212 (mph) and I was like, ‘Really?’” Gordon said. “So I went back to my team, and I said, ‘Hey, what was the fastest you saw,’ because I didn’t know if I believed that.

“I didn’t realize we were going that fast, I knew we were fast, and they said, ‘Yeah, 214.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, that really is fast.’

“You think of going those speeds at a California or a Michigan, and some of these mile-and-a-half tracks. These four corners, you have to slow down for these corners and you don’t think of getting up to those speeds at the end of the straightaway, but when the grip level was like it was this morning and this car having so much grip, you carry a lot of corner speed. These are long straightaways and so we were getting up to some fast speeds.”

The sleek, new aerodynamics of the Gen-6 are creating plenty of downforce, Bayne said.

“Man, that thing is in the racetrack big time,” Bayne said. “When you look in the rearview mirror and you see that spoiler and that’s all you see, that adds a lot of downforce, and with everything they’ve worked on with the Gen-6 car, I feel like it’s really relaying over to this racetrack. Some tracks we go to you can’t tell a big difference, but with this place, with as much speed as you’re carrying into the corner, the aero packages are really amplified here. I think it’s a great package, and we’ve had a lot of grip.”

Gordon’s main goal in coming to Indianapolis for this test is to gain every possible advantage that will help him become the first five-time winner of the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard.

“This race is so important,” Gordon said. “I love this racetrack. We’ve had great success here, and we want to win here again. We were so close a couple years ago, and when I saw that we had the opportunity to get this test, I think we jumped at it. There’s Daytona, there’s the championship, and there’s the Brickyard, and this is a very, very important race. So we’re coming here fully ready to not just learn all we can and gather data from this test for Goodyear to develop a tire, but to try to win this race when we come back here.”


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2013 Kroger Super Weekend tickets: Ticket orders for the 2013 Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard can be made at www.ims.com/tickets and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 25, $30 for Friday, July 26, $25 for Saturday, July 27 and $30 for Sunday, July 28. A four-day Kroger Super Weekend general admission ticket is $80, a great value for the ultimate race weekend. A three-day general admission ticket (Thursday-Saturday) is $65.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the four days of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Reserved tickets for the Saturday and Sunday action also will be available at various price ranges.