4-Time WGI Champ Jeff Gordon "Happy" with Improvements made at The Glen

Fans can Expect Fewer Cautions and Better Show

Gordon Exiting Turn 11

Jeff Gordon acclerates down the FrontStretch during Day 1 of a two-day Goodyear tire test at WGI.

Three of the top drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hit the twists and turns of Watkins Glen International for the first of a two day Goodyear tire test on Tuesday, June 1 in preparation for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, August 5-8.  Although rain delayed the Goodyear test in the morning, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, and Marcos Ambrose were constantly on track in the afternoon to maximize their remaining track time. Following the test, Gordon took part in a conference call with media during which he expressed his thoughts on the improvements in The Carousel and Inner Loop and the likely impact on the racing.

”I wasn’t calling for (changes), but I’m certainly happy to see the improvements they made there (in The Carousel),” said Gordon.  “One difference you’re really going to see is in the bus stop when they would get off there and get stuck in the sand pits. There won’t be as many cautions to get (cars) out, so it’s is going to be good for the fans.”

He also admitted that Hendrick Motorsports is putting a lot of effort in their road course program this year after feeling things fell of in 2009 and once again reaffirmed his love for road course racing.  He also believes that the new run-off areas allow drivers to be more aggressive in The Carousel and Turn 10 and that the data collected by Goodyear during the test could result in a much different tire than what has been used the last several years.

“When this car came out at first, Goodyear has to be real conservative with the tire with the high center of gravity. It was putting a lot of stress on the tire and they were nervous,” he said. “I’m hoping to see them get back to a tire that has a little more grip in the front and the taper and a little more fall-off as well.”

He explained that the fall-off in tire performance would mean a bigger different between the speed and handling of cars on new tires versus old and cause the use of more strategy than in recent years.

Gordon was the first driver to hit the track at approximately 1:00 PM and the other two drivers followed shortly thereafter.  The cars were constantly on and off the track to make adjustments and provide data to Goodyear until the end of the test at 5:00 PM.  Gordon completed about 50 laps be the end of the session.

Gordon, Burton, and Ambrose will test again Wednesday, June 2 and then things will really get going with the first spectator event of the 2010 season at WGI with the start of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend, June 4-6.  4-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, will make his Sahlen’s Six Hours debut in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Daytona Prototype on Saturday, June 5.  The Continental Tire 150 at The Glen will precede the Rolex Series race and take the green flag at 10:15 AM. 

Tickets for the entire 2010 season including the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, August 5-8, and Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 2-4, weekends are on sale now!  Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.  Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.  The Shop is open Monday-Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-4.

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