FORT WORTH, Texas – Fifteen drivers representing five Verizon IndyCar Series organizations participated in a one-day private test session on May 3 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The drivers were on hand to gather data and information in preparation for the Firestone 600, scheduled for June 10-11 on the at the 1.455-mile oval. Texas Motor Speedway is celebrating its 20th year of operation in 2016 and the Verizon IndyCar Series has raced on the track every year since its opening.
"It's definitely a tricky place,” said Ed Carpenter, owner/driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing. Other teams testing were Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Team Penske.
“It's fun and I think you can see that by what everyone is doing," Carpenter added. "Everyone is out trying a lot of different things. Josef (Newgarden, Carpenter's teammate) said some guys are working on qualifying stuff. When we come back here, we practice in the morning and qualify in the heat of the day and then practice.
"It's hard to not get any non-traffic running when we come back here. I think you see a lot of guys trying to get part of their setup sorted out so that when they come back they can focus solely on the race."
While the majority of the test session featured cars running individually or in small groups, the teams agreed to run in larger groups to collect data during the final two hours.
The group sessions were as many as 10 to 11 cars and the results showed the ability to run and pass in multiple lanes and extremely close side-by-side racing, as exhibited particularly by Colombian drivers Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport and Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske running up front.
"I love this track, always have,” said Team Penske's Will Power, who has claimed three straight Verizon P1 Awards for winning the pole position at TMS. “I have always done well here except for last year. I think the key is to have multiple lanes. That will create a really good race as we saw in Fontana. The more lanes there are, the more clean air you can find. That's the key.”