Goodyear Test Concludes at Daytona
By: John Singler on April 12, 2017 | 5:18 P.M. EST
Five Monster Energy Series drivers were busy at Daytona on Tuesday and Wednesday including Team Penske's Joey Logano, participating in a Goodyear Tire test. (Photo: Daytona International Speedway)
It's an off-week for most NASCAR teams as the sport heads into its annual break for the Easter holiday.
But five Monster Energy Series drivers were busy at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, participating in a Goodyear Tire test. And both Erik Jones and Joey Logano were appreciative of the rare opportunity to get some extra time behind the wheel on a superspeedway.
"It's beneficial to the team, for sure," Jones said. "We don't get to test superspeedways all that often and we always have plenty of stuff we want to try during these tire tests."
Jones and the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team have been steady through the first seven races of his rookie season. His best finish is eighth place last month at Phoenix Raceway. He's second to Daniel Suarez in the Rookie of the Year standings and 14th overall.
"We've done as good a job as we can and brought fast racecars to the track," Jones said. "We're learning more about how to execute, close races out and get the finishes we're capable of."
And while tire testing is not the most compelling way to spend a pre-holiday week, Jones sees the big picture.
"As a driver, it's not the most exciting thing in the world," he notes, "but it's good for the teams involved."
Joining Jones at "The World Center of Racing" this week were Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and the aforementioned Logano - who also acknowledges the lack of drama in testing but appreciates the importance of it.
"There's not much you can do behind the wheel but when you can find speed in your racecar, it'll transfer over and that's a good thing," Logano said. "And tests are hard to come by, especially on superspeedways. We're able to provide data and help Goodyear get the necessary information for the tires they'll bring when we come back in July."
NASCAR also had a "to-do" list this week, which Logano and the others checked off on Tuesday.
"One of the goals was to lower the 'lift-off' speed," he said. "When these cars turn around backwards, it creates lift, and that's when you see cars get really light and maybe even roll over if they get hit again. We were looking at ways to create 'backward downforce.' That's easier said than done. Doing that without affecting the racing and not adding a bunch of costs for teams is the challenge."
Logano, who drives the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, says it's still a work in progress.
"We tried a few different avenues to achieve those goals and we may still have to talk some things out," he said. "But we got some good data out of that going forward and learned some stuff for the July race."
NASCAR will return to Daytona for its annual summer Xfinity-Monster Energy Series doubleheader June 30-July 1. Logano is confident that by then, he'll have broken into the 2017 win column.
"I'm not happy if we're not winning races," he said. "That's our approach and we haven't put a whole race together yet, but the wins are coming."
Heading into the Easter break, Logano is fifth in the regular-season point standings with a best finish of third last weekend in Texas.