First NASCAR test held on IMS Road Course

Matt DiBenedetto turned the first-ever laps by a NASCAR stock car on the IMS road course Jan. 22, 2020. (WTHR)
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SPEEDWAY, Ind (WTHR) — Just days after Roger Penske announced NASCAR would be hitting the road course at the Motor Speedway and tests are already underway.

On Wednesday, Matt DiBenedetto turned the first-ever laps by a NASCAR stock car on the IMS road course.

The test is in preparation for the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series road-course race at IMS on Saturday, July 4.

DiBenedetto spent the day testing two different road-course configurations to see which will produce the most exciting racing. Both have the cars going clockwise, the opposite direction of the oval.

One version was a high-speed, 12-turn road course that features the cars driving through the entire Turn 1 of the oval and down the frontstretch into the infield for the first turn of the road course, which features a heavy braking zone. This was nearly identical to the layout used by Formula One for the United States Grand Prix from 2000-07 at IMS.

The other course was a more technical, 14-turn layout that uses the three-turn chicane inside Turn 1 of the oval before the drivers make their way onto the frontstretch, then stand hard on the brakes to enter the infield for Turn 1 of the road course. This is the same complex of turns used by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES during the GMR Grand Prix in May.

Tickets for the entire Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line event weekend are on sale now at IMS.com and the IMS Ticket Office.