Five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers took their turns registering laps around Dover International Speedway on Tuesday as part of a Goodyear Tire Test session at the one-mile, concrete oval.
Chris Buescher, Landon Cassill, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano made dozens of laps in front of hundreds of fans as part of the Goodyear test, in advance of the upcoming NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the Monster Mile on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
“This track is the most fun to run by yourself around,” said Logano, who has three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 17 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover. “You can really feel the speed here.”
Earnhardt said he anticipated a new tire package for the drivers when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to the Monster Mile on Sunday, Oct. 1 for the first elimination race in the 2017 NASCAR playoffs.
“Goodyear’s learning a lot,” said Earnhardt, who will be making his final Dover appearance behind the wheel this fall. “They are gaining a lot of great information. A lot of drivers wouldn’t mind a change to the tire.”
Earnhardt, whose lone Dover win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series came in 2001, discussed a variety of topics during his 20-minute gathering with local and national media. Among the subjects were his recent victory as a team owner at Indianapolis, his announcement on joining NBC Sports next year, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback situation, and his emotions as he counts down his final races of 2017.
“What worked in 2014 and 2015 doesn’t work now,” Earnhardt said. “You have to evolve throughout the season. It’s been easy for me to focus on the races. It’s harder to focus on the other responsibilities outside the car.”
Ross Chastain, the driver of the No. 4 Delaware Office of Highway Safety Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the Sept. 30 race, also visited with fans outside the grandstands and participated in a cornhole match with Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian.
Chastain will be part of the field that takes the green flag for the “Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Sept. 29-Oct. 1 tripleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway also includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Sept. 29.