Just because we as fans have the next few weeks off from viewing our favourite sport - and yes it is a sport - the race teams do not. Two days of testing for the CoT will begin Tuesday at Richmond.
Interestingly enough, a lot of the teams will be testing their back-up cars from the Martinsville race this past weekend as one of the two cars they are allowed to test. This is because they don't really have enough CoT's built, but there are a few teams that do. Some of the race teams even pulled out their back-up cars at Martinsville after "happy hour" to test them in order to get ready for Richmond. Here is what Dale Jr had to say about this, "It was interesting to see so many teams take out their back-up cars after Happy Hour (at Martinsville) to get ready for the Richmond test. We're ahead of the game. We've got two cars ready to go and it shows how hard everyone has worked at DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) to get the new cars built." - source Motorsport.com.
Speaking of the Car of Tomorrow, NASCAR is going to show all the race teams how to properly install the foam that goes on the inside of the driver's door. NASCAR has determined that improper installation of the foam was the main cause of Harvick's fire Sunday which burnt up some wiring for the in-car camera as well.
We'll have to see how the CoT testing goes this week at Richmond. Even Dale Jr is optimistic, "Richmond is one of those places where we seem to always be fast – from the Busch series days to the cup series. So let's see if that confidence and momentum carries over. If we have a good test, look out." - source Motorsport.com.
I still believe that the true test of the CoT will come on the larger tracks, and Richmond is a step in the right direction in that regard, but it is surely not going to be a true test of the car's capability just yet.
What I do like about what NASCAR is doing with the CoT is that they appear to be working with the race teams, and are being flexible with certain things, like what happened to the 'Biff's' car last week. After it failed post-race inspection - the car was a bit too low in the rear of one side - they sent the car for testing to find out the cause, etc. and upon further inspection declined to issue the #16 team any fines. They could have very easily been fined by NASCAR, but they were not. I think this is a show of good-faith on NASCAR's part in working with each and every team to get the CoT to where it needs to be in performance and safety.
I've always said that if the CoT does what it is supposed to do - make things safer for the driver - then bring it on! And people like the whiny Kyle Busch should appreciate and applaud NASCAR's efforts (although a little too late for my liking) to make sure all drivers, including the spoiled little bratty ones like himself, are safe to race the next day.
You know, since I brought Kyle Busch up again I've got a few more things to say about him. Although he did not win the Martinsville race this past weekend, he did run very well again, and yet he still complained about how much the CoT 'sucked'. OK, he didn't use the word suck this time, he was a lot more diplomatic in his comments (must have had some coaching from Rick Hendrick this past week), but his message was clear - he does not like the CoT.
DW said some interesting things about the CoT this past week. He said the CoT reminded him of how the cars used to drive back in the "large car" days of NASCAR (1970's). Even when NASCAR switched to the 'smaller' versions back in the early 1980's those cars still handled like the CoT does now. Yes it was more difficult to handle one of those cars from that era compared to their 1990's and present day counter-parts, but it also required more driver skill and less dependency on technology. If Kyle Busch is going to complain about a car that requires him to show his skill as a driver rather than show the team's skill in using wind tunnel data, then he needs to find another career because that is what he is paid to do and that is what the fans pay to see.
With that being said, I'm going to leave Kyle Busch alone for a while. Although it seems that he has been around for a long time, we must remember that he is still a young guy and he needs to mature a little more and still suffers from what I call 'young-guy bravado' - just watch him and you'll see it too (I suffered from that when I was his age too). Everyone makes mistakes, and I hope that he learns from his - there is a time and place for everything and he just chose the wrong time and place to voice his opinion. A true sign of maturity is for him to learn from this and move on. We'll just have to wait and see if he does.
Photo Credit: Mortsports.com - Action Sports Photography