JOHNSON, KAHNE KICK OFF 2005 RACING SEASON AT ATLANTA
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s 2005 racing season officially started Tuesday at 10:45 a.m., as Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne sprinted around the 1.54-mile quad-oval at near-qualifying speeds during a two-day Goodyear Tire test.
Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne and Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 winner Jimmie Johnson will continue to test the new Goodyear compounds Wednesday as they prepare for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend.
Mark Keto, lead engineer for Goodyear¿s stock car tire development group, said this week¿s test will help Goodyear establish which tire compound is best for the lightning-fast Atlanta track, the fastest in NASCAR, with the new spoiler rules.
¿We¿re going through different tire compounds, but we really just want to know what the driver thinks,¿ Keto said, ¿And also if the tires which run well on the shorter runs will run well on the longer runs.¿
As the day progressed, Johnson and Kahne took laps and relayed pertinent information to Goodyear engineers.
¿Going through the different tires, we¿re finding the cars are more on the loose side. It¿s the tires with softer grip that the drivers seem to like and also perform well,¿ Keto said. ¿We have several that we¿re carrying over to tomorrow¿s long run test.¿
Kahne also used Tuesday to think about not only tires, but also the redesigned body of his Dodge Charger.
¿It¿s great for us to get this track time with the new design,¿ Kahne said. ¿Hopefully this will put us ahead of the game to have an even more consistent season.¿
For more information on the Golden Corral 500 weekend, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.