AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time ever, NASCAR will have a race at Circuit of the Americas in May. In preparation, a few notable names took to the COTA track for the first time Tuesday to test their tires and get a feel for the road course.
Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series champion with ten top ten finishes in his road course career, Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 Cup Series champion with four career road course victories, and defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, all participated in Tuesday’s tire test.
COTA features a 3.41-mile, 20-turn counterclockwise circuit, and a 2.2-mile, 15-turn short course. It’s the only one in America that hosts both Formula 1 and MotoGP annually.
The track at COTA is unique, and the drivers discussed their first experience with Keselowski noting how the diversity of the course can certainly throw a driver for a loop.
“We all get joked on all of the time for only making left hand turns,” Keselowski said. “So it’s a nice challenge, and when you look at what it takes to win and to be successful as a NASCAR driver, it’s really unique compared to all other forms of motorsport because you have to really excel at multiple forms and disciplines of racing.”
Defending champion Elliott discussed his experience navigating the track as a beginner.
“Really haven’t watched a ton of races here so it’s been a really steep learning curve for me,” Elliott added. “Just trying to piece together all of the different parts of the track and understand where you need to be good and how to make it flow.”
All of the drivers seemed to enjoy the track and this road test will certainly give Keselowski, Elliott and Truex Jr. a solid head start before they return to Austin in a couple of months.
The first NASCAR race at COTA will take place May 21-23.