Atlanta Motor Speedway's 2010 NASCAR season kicked off at 9:31 a.m. when Mark Martin took to the high-banked track to begin two days of tire testing by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to determine the premier tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 on March 7.
Four NASCAR veterans - Martin, Carl Edwards, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Martin Truex, Jr. - are assisting Goodyear with testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Martin posted the fastest lap with a time 29.938 (185.183).
Martin's time of 29.938 seconds was faster than Truex, Jr.'s qualifying lap of 30.106 (184.149 mph) for September's Pep Boys Auto 500. He nearly matched his pole-winning performance for last March's Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he posted a 29.640 (187.045).
In addition to Martin's time, Edwards posted a lap of 29.953 seconds (185.102 mph), followed by Truex, Jr. with a 30.009 (184.744) and Hornish, Jr. with a 30.560 (181.413).
"It's fast and this is one of my favorite tracks, so it's really fun here in the middle of winter to get to run 200 mph on a racetrack," said Edwards, who has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins in Atlanta. "I'm having a blast.
While most teams are focused on assisting Goodyear, the Atlanta Goodyear Test holds added importance for Truex, Jr., who is participating in his first Goodyear test with his new Michael Waltrip Racing team and with crew chief Pat Tryson.
"So far it's good for our first time here together," said Truex, Jr., who won the pole for September's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We're just easing into it and feeling things out. The car is fast and it feels good.
"It's a big deal for us to be able to get out here and get acclimated with each other and get into the swing of things," added Truex, Jr. "We've got a bunch of stuff to go through and try on our car: stuff that Pat has done in the past; stuff they've done at MWR; and ideas I have from what I have done. We've got a lot of stuff to try in the next day in the half and so far it has gone well."
All four drivers will return Jan. 13 for day two of the test.