CONCORD, N.C. – Tuesday’s second “Test Fest” at Charlotte Motor Speedway provided a chance for William Byron and Alex Bowman to make some laps on the ROVAL.
It also made for a learning opportunity for the No. 24 team, which had its day cut short due to a brake line failure that caused Byron to make contact with a tire barrier.
“We really think that is going to be a key to this race, durability and consistency,” No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb said. “That’s something we weren’t hoping to happen to us, but at least we learned a really good lesson. He got way more aggressive with the curbs, and that caused a failure in the car, which is the way we lost the brakes and crashed into Turn 1. You’re going to see a lot of that in the race – it’s going to be about durability and keeping the car together for 109 laps.”
Prior to the incident, Byron said he gained valuable experience in advance of the Sept. 30 Bank of America ROVAL 400 race weekend.
After putting in plenty of laps on the simulator, he was glad to get a feel for the actual racetrack.
“I feel like each corner is kind of something unexpected and a little bit of every track we go to,” the driver said. “There are parts of the track that are like Sonoma and parts of the track are like Watkins Glen or faster. It feels sometimes like you’re coming to pit road on an oval track. You kind of mix everything that we do in one track, which is very unique.”
Bowman and Byron, like their teammates Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson last Tuesday, agreed that the track presents quite a challenge to drivers as they tackle the NASCAR Cup Series’ newest venue.
“It is difficult,” Bowman said. “It is really hard to make laps without crashing, but I think we will continue to learn as we go. It will get easier, but it’s just a handful.
“This will definitely put on a good show for the fans when we come back to Charlotte in September.”