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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Martin Truex Jr. Paces Field in Open Test Session at Darlington

A test session is a way for teams to experiment with setups and try a few things, and 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams did just that on Wednesday at Darlington Raceway. Pocono winner Martin Truex Jr. topped the charts with a speed of 175.535 mph.

Second quick in the session was Jamie McMurray, followed by Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch.

While speeds are usually not valued high during a test session, Truex told MRN.com that the team must work even harder now they are locked into the Chase.

“We’ve got everything it takes to do what we need to do,” Truex said. “We’ve got to keep working hard. We’ve got a lot of racing left before the Chase starts.”

Perhaps more important was the fact that drivers raved about the surface of the historic racetrack, which will hold NASCAR’s coveted Labor Day Weekend event for the first time since 2003. Among those drivers was Clint Bowyer, who worked with new crew chief Billy Scott for the first time during the session.

“This is the fastest repave wear-out ever.” Bowyer told MRN. “This place is back to the ‘old’ Darlington, slipping and sliding around, It’s the way it needs to be to put on good racing.”

Kyle Busch, who needs a win to make the Chase after missing the first three months of the season for an injury in the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona, completed the most test laps with 108.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to Darlington Speedway on Sept. 6 for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.