McMurray Turns Fastest Speed In Thursday's First Open Test Session
Sprint Cup Series teams took to the Atlanta Motor Speedway track in the first open team test of the 2015 NASCAR season Thursday afternoon.
Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet, had the fastest lap time of the afternoon's first test session with a speed of 191.278
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, was the first car out of the garage and onto the Atlanta Motor Speedway track for the first open team test of the 2015 NASCAR schedule. Larson is seeking his first Sprint Cup Series win after being named last year's Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year.
On the opportunity to get onto the track for the open team testing:
"We were all pretty anxious to get out there. This is really what I feel like the start of our season is, because this is the majority of size race track we run on."
"I really didn't notice anything. I thought it came up to speed pretty well. Maybe it doesn't carry to the end of the straightaway as hard as what it did before but we have less downforce too but it still feels fast. I really didn't notice much difference between this year vs. last year."
On how the new rules package affects the feel of the race car:
"I felt like the car really didn't drive much different than how it did with the old rules. This track's pretty tough to run on anyways."
On trying out the new in-car track bar adjuster:
"So far when I played with it, I just thought it affected my exit at the corner. I just gotta learn that kind of stuff and how far you can go with it. I think that'll be a really neat tool that we get to use as drivers."
On whether he can get his first Sprint Cup Series win at Atlanta:
"I enjoy the mile-and-a-half tracks the best but Harvick's really, really good here, so he'll probably be the one to beat."
Carl Edwards swapped teams to join Joe Gibbs Racing this year. Edwards is the driver of the No. 19 Toyota. Last year, Edwards finished ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings in 2014.
On driving at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"To me, this is pure racing."
"This place is just fun. It's as good as ever. It's fun to drive here."
"It's a fast track with a lot of character. There's bumps and seams and spots with no grip and spots with a ton of grip. It's a real fun race track. If you don't have the fastest car in one area, you can make it up somewhere else, and you just have to drive the whole way."
"To me, we could race here every week and I'd be happy."
"What happens here is you go out there right now and the track's green from top to bottom. It's got a ton of grip, and then as we run, the rubber fills in and it gets slicker the more people run in certain areas so the groove moves around. That's what's neat about this place; there's no perfect, preferred line. You can make things work anywhere."
"This is a big, fast, scary race track, and there's no place to be comfortable here. It's a really tough place to manage the tires."
"The first couple laps here are pretty exhilarating, to be honest with you. You've got to catch your breath. You've got to drive the car down into the corner and manhandle it and slide it sideways and deal with all the balance and things like that. It takes a couple of laps to get used to this place."
On what the new rules package feels like:
"This was a big deal to have this day. We get to put a little more rubber on the race track. To us in particular, it's a great test. These few hours are worth a lot."
"The car feels great. The new package is a little bit different. It feels like we have more on-throttle time, so we're not out of the throttle as much. It changes the way you drive this place."
"Even when you take away a little power, we're making so much speed in the middle of the corner."
The open team test continues this afternoon and wraps up at 5 p.m.
Following the test, Richard Petty will be inducted into the City of Hampton's Speedway Lane Hall of Fame at 6 p.m. Immediately following the ceremony, the XFINITY Series haulers will parade through downtown Hampton in the 3rd Annual Hauler Parade before entering the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield for the weekend.
For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR week or to purchase tickets, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.