AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time ever, NASCAR will have a race at Circuit of the Americas in May. The preparation continued Monday with “Toyota production day” and it featured three drivers from the Toyota team.
A little over a month ago, there was a tire test done by Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., and Chase Elliott.
Now with just under a month to go before the first race, a few more notable names took to the COTA track for the first time to test their tires and get a feel for the road course.
Toyota Racing’s Kyle Busch, who was 57 career cup series victories, including two championships headlined the event. Daniel Hemric, who has four top-five finishes this season, and John Hunter Nemecheck who drives a truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports under the Toyota Racing umbrella.
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 Busch noting that the course can definitely throw a driver off a little bit.
“It’s definitely an interesting place, there’s a lot of tricky corners that are here, some hidden corners as well,” Busch said. “It’s definitely different, a long course, a lot of corners, a lot of high speed straightaways, a lot of breaking zones so it’s definitely going to have its challenges for the drivers as well as the equipment.”
Busch also noted that the track has a reputation for being crazy, which he says was confirmed when he gave his car a spin on Monday afternoon.
“This is a weird place man, that’s what they say and so I looked to kind of see what’s weird about it and have a good time while doing so.”
John Hunter Nemecheck predicts entertaining results from the race next month.
“I know that there’s going to be a lot of beating and banging, probably some sparks flying for sure, a lot of tempers, who knows? You might see a fight or two after the race as well,” Hunter Nemecheck said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, some tight intense battling, just looking forward to getting back here and racing.”
The first NASCAR race at COTA will take place May 21-23.