January 8, 2018
By Holly Cain
NASCAR Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will officially bring in the sport’s New Year during a two-day closed Goodyear tire test at Texas Motor Speedway this week.
Newly-crowned Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) joins former series champion Brad Keselowski (Ford), Chase Elliott (Chevrolet) and Aric Almirola (Ford) on the 1.5-mile Fort Worth high banks Tuesday and Wednesday.
For Elliott, this marks the debut of the No. 9 on the sides of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, which formerly carried the No. 24. And for Almirola, this will be his first formal outing in the No. 10 Ford since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in the offseason after a six-year tenure with Richard Petty Motorsports.
The test session also marks the on-track debut of the Camaro ZL1, the new model Chevrolet will field in the 2018 Monster Energy Series, replacing the Chevy SS.
“The new Camaro ZL1 is a great looking race car with a lot of heritage behind it, which will make it a big hit with fans,” Chevrolet’s seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson said at the car’s August unveiling. “And as someone who’s enjoyed the ZL1 on the street, I’m really looking forward to getting this new race car on the track.”
The next preseason test is for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Jan. 17, its goal to help teams get accustomed to the new optional engine approved for use in 2018.
The Monster Energy Series will have an organizational test Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – with one car from each organization allowed laps at the 1.5-mile facility that will host its first ever Playoff race on Sept. 16.
NASCAR’s Daytona Speedweeks begins officially Feb. 11 with Daytona 500 pole qualifying followed by the Advance Auto Parts Clash. The 60th running of the “Great American Race,” the Daytona 500, is Feb. 18.