The first of two days of a Goodyear tire test is underway at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. taking part in Tuesday's portion of the test session.
The tire test comes less than 80 days prior to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where drivers expect tire wear to be more of a factor than other similar tracks. Goodyear will utilize data gained during the tire test to develop the tire supplied to race teams during Labor Day Weekend.
Stenhouse, a rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season, won last year's NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"Atlanta's always a fun one, it's not too far from home for me. A lot of friends and family come out," said Stenhouse, a native of Olive Branch, Miss. "It'd be nice to translate that into a win. I definitely always enjoy coming to Atlanta."
Atlanta's pavement sets it apart from other tracks that are similar in length and layout, causing tires to experience more wear than an other tracks.
"It kind of takes me back to my roots of racing dirt cars where the tires would wear out. It puts a lot back into the driver's hands," Stenhouse said. "You've got to get your car set up and it's got to be fast in the beginning, but it needs to be fast to the middle and to the end of the run when the tires are getting old."
Ambrose, currently 23rd in the points standings, is part of a group of drivers likely to need a strong finish or even a victory during the AdvoCare 500 to claim a wild card spot in the Chase for the Championship.
"This track is worn out, the groove gets really wide," Ambrose said. "As a driver, this is the kind of track you love to come to. You have to saw on that wheel all day. There's never going to be a more racy track on the NASCAR schedule than Atlanta."
NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend for the AdvoCare 500 race weekend. Tickets are on sale now and adult tickets start at just $39. Student tickets cost just $19. Other specials are available while supplies last. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.