Four participate in Goodyear test at Las Vegas
Goodyear Tire & Rubber wrapped up a two-day test at the reconfigured Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Aug. 16. Four series drivers – Todd Bodine, No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota), Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), Brendan Gaughan (No. 77 Orleans Racing Dodge) and Dennis Setzer (No. 85 FlexFuel E85 Chevrolet) – tested a variety of Wrangler combinations in preparation for the Sept. 23 Smith’s Las Vegas 350. “This ought to be called Las Vegas Superspeedway now,” said Crawford.
“You’re going to see a lot of drafting, a lot of speed (and) a lot of excitement for the fans.” Gaughan, a former winner whose race shop is a few hundred yards from the track, said, “It all depends on what tire you put on … so I think you’ll definitely see at least a second faster.” Banking in the turns has been raised from 12 to 20 degrees. The backstretch banking has been increased from three to nine degrees – the same as the track’s frontstretch. Mike Skinner’s 2004 track record of 165.320 mph likely will be shattered by the entire qualifying field as unofficial lap speeds in excess of 170 mph were recorded during the test.
Chevrolet and Ford owned Bristol Motor Speedway, winning a combined seven times, until a year ago when Skinner’s Toyota visited Victory Lane. Dodge has yet to record a victory at BMS. Chevrolet’s track-leading five wins came in consecutive seasons – 1996 through 2003. Jack Roush and Bill Davis are the only active owners with Bristol victories. Roush’s Carl Edwards was the winner in 2004; Davis won with Skinner last year.