Teams spending off-week participating in mid-season tests

Robert Laberge

IndyCar teams have had eight-consecutive weeks of on-track activity. With much-needed off-time coming up this weekend, there one more bit of work on the agenda before taking some time off -- testing.

There is no rest for the weary as several IndyCar teams are on the road early this week for both manufacturer and private tests before taking a few well-deserved days off. Following the event at Iowa Speedway, the IndyCar Series had competed for eight-straight weekends.

The tests are spread across three venues -- two of which are approaching on the schedule -- include Pocono (July 4; race July 7), Mid-Ohio (July 31; race Aug. 4) and Sonoma Raceway (Aug. 21; race Aug. 25).

"Pocono is our next big challenge," driver Graham Rahal said. "We need to turn our attention to that and try and be as fast as we can there -- that's our goal right now."

The track time will be important because the IndyCar 400 will be the first Indy car race on the so-called "Tricky Triangle" since 1989 and is the second leg in the Fuzzy's Triple Crown that could award to winner of all the stages an additional $1 millions dollars.

As the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, Tony Kanaan is the only driver eligible for that prize. However, if another driver can win two of three, that driver will win a $250,000 bonus. The third stage of the Triple Crown is the season finale at Auto Club Speedway.

"The more testing you can do, the better it is going to be for everyone on the team,"Rahal's teammate, James Jakes said. "I think it was a good to change from Mid-Ohio to Pocono as we only have one test there before the race, and having never been there before it could take a little bit of learning.

"Also if the pre-race test is rained out then it could have been very difficult so, for me, it was a good decision."

Complete testing information can be found below.

June 25 at Pocono (closed to the public)

Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and E.J. Viso)

Dragon Racing (Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra)

Ed Carpenter Racing (Ed Carpenter)

Panther Racing (Ryan Briscoe)

KV Racing Technology (Simona De Silvestro and Tony Kanaan)

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (James Jakes and Graham Rahal)

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (Josef Newgarden)

Team Penske (Helio Castroneves and Will Power)

June 25 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson)

June 26 at Sebring International Raceway

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti)

Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing (Charlie Kimball)

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