Six NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers test prior to “Wide-Opening Weekend” May 17-18
May 07, 2014
NEWTON, IA. (May 6, 2014) – With “Wide-Opening Weekend” at Iowa Speedway less than two weeks away, six NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers representing five teams took to the popular short track located in Newton, Iowa Tuesday for a test session in hopes of gathering information to help their efforts for the Get to Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin-Williams May 18.
Stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series – past, present and future – including last June’s winner Trevor Bayne, participated in the test which was a joint venture between the track and NASCAR. It also was the first run of the 2014 season at the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet.”
“As Iowans know, we experienced an unusually cold winter this year,” said Jimmy Small, Iowa Speedway track president. “Some areas on the race track underwent repair and as a result we worked with NASCAR to conduct this one-day test – what we like to call our own version of spring training – to be sure the track is ready and teams are prepared so we can put on an exciting show for our fans during ‘Wide-Opening Weekend.’”
Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing), Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing), Sam Hornish Jr. (Joe Gibbs Racing), former NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) along with teammates Chase Elliott and series newcomer Austin Theriault (JR Motorsports) participated in the test, which ran from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. local (CT).
For Elliott, who leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings by one point over Elliott Sadler, the test was a cram session before “Wide Opening Weekend.” Though he has run three races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, next week’s race will be his Iowa debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Elliott also will graduate from high school next weekend, so turning as many laps as possible today was imperative for the 18-year-old driver who won consecutive races at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway earlier this year.
Fans watched the test from their cars or brought chairs to enjoy the warm and sunny but breezy day from “Rim Road,” an area that overlooks the backstretch.
“Wide-Opening Weekend” kicks off Saturday, May 17 at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) with the Casey’s General Stores 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series event, an exciting combination race between the stars of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. The Get to Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin-Williams will take center stage at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) Sunday and will be broadcast live on ESPN.