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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Daytona 500 Testing Underway

Daytona 500 Testing Underway

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season Starts February 26th

By Dell Hill

It seems like only yesterday that Tony Stewart was celebrating his 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, but here we are in January and that means Daytona testing is underway, prior to the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 and the start of the 2012 season!

Testing has actually been taking place for a couple of days, and you can find up-to-the-minute speed charts by clicking on this safe link.  Scroll down a bit for the speed charts.

That link takes you to one of the best NASCAR reporting sites - Jayski’

The Saturday morning speeds show that Hendrick Motorsports is ready!  All four of the Hendrick teams were among the fastest, with Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne showing the way (201.545 mph average speeds).  Danica Patrick also had a good morning test run, posting a speed of 192.029 mph lap on the 2.5 mile tri-oval at Daytona.

Danica Patrick (L) Will Drive The Go Daddy Sponsored Cup Car For Defending Cup Champion - Tony Stewart.

Afternoon test speeds are expected to climb even higher as the teams will be allowed to draft.

There are some rule changes to note the start of the 2012 season.  For instance:

The new rules package includes:

· Smaller radiators
 Maximum of 2 gallon capacity

· Smaller overflow tank
 Maximum capacity of ½ gallon

· Radiator inlet is moved up closer into the front center bumper area

· Rate reduction in the springs  softer springs

· Smaller rear spoiler

· Base line restrictor plate of 29/32 inch (1/64 inch larger than plate size for the 2011 Daytona 500)

The increased Daytona restrictor plate size is reported to produce about 25 more horse-power, and the speed charts tend to bear that out, but don’t be surprised if the plate size is adjusted yet again prior to the 500.  NASCAR is conducting tests to keep the car speeds “around 200 mph”.

As reader interest dictates, I’ll be posting on the Cup racing season, so I hope you’ll stay tuned for that.

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