Wide Open Testing: Yes or No?

On paper it would look like that wide open testing would only benefit those teams with deep pockets and they would get even better than before while those teams who don't have the same resources would not really benefit at all because they can't afford to test whenever they wanted.

In actuality it would be greatly different.

First of all, wide open testing already exists. Teams are only limited to the amount they can test on tracks that are currently on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule, so that means they can go and test at any other facility all they want to such as Kentucky - which teams do quite a bit.

In fact, Roger Penske has put forward the plan to build his own test track behind his race shops with the idea of renting it out to other teams when he isn't using it like what he does with his 7-post shaker.

With wide open testing teams would no longer have to go to other tracks to test, they would be able to test at any track on the schedule that they wanted to.

This would mean that those teams with the deep pockets probably wouldn't be spending any more than the do now, In fact, it might even decrease their spending due to the fact that they are testing on the actual track they are racing on and they could get their results quicker and more accurately.

On the other hand, this would mean that those teams that are struggling financially could concentrate on the tracks that they are actually racing on instead of going to tracks that are 'similar' to what they are racing on and guessing at set-ups for race days. They could work on set-up and qualifying trim right from the start - especially if they are not in the top 35 of owner points - thus maximizing their testing budgets to their fullest potential.

My speculation is that the real driving force behind this movement is not the race teams or their drivers, but the NASCAR sanctioned tracks themselves. Think about all of the money they are not getting because teams go and test elsewhere at unsanctioned tracks because they are only allowed so many test dates at the sanctioned tracks.

If teams are allowed to test unlimited at sanctioned tracks then those testing dollars don't go to the unsanctioned tracks and go to the owners of the sanctioned tracks.

Don't be fooled, these are the people who will benefit the most by unlimited testing.


With that being said, I'm in favour of unlimited testing because it will benefit all of the teams in some way or another. Each team has a budget of 'x' amount of dollars and they will spend it either at sanctioned or unsanctioned tracks, so why not have them spend it at the sanctioned ones where they can actually better use the data they collect?


And if the track owners benefit financially, so be it - maybe they can use that extra money and put up safer barriers all the way around their tracks, on both the outside and inside walls, and not just on the outside walls in the corners.


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