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Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations, (817) 215-8520


CONTACT: Sarona Winfrey


Gary Guehler



-- For Immediate Release





FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 16, 2004) – NASCAR race teams are aware of the prestige associated with a victory at Texas Motor Speedway. A high level of intensity was apparent Tuesday as five teams ran daylong tests in preparation for the April 1-4 Samsung/RadioShack 500 weekend at “The Great American Speedway.”



A trio of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and two NASCAR Busch Series teams tested a total of eight different vehicles on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Nextel Cup teams taking to the speedway included Dale Earnhardt Jr. in two Budweiser Chevrolets, Bill Elliott in a Dodge Dealers Dodge and Larry Foyt in the A.J. Foyt Racing Dodge. Busch Series drivers testing two cars apiece were Martin Truex Jr. in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the Vigoro Chevrolet.



Earnhardt continued on a roll following his triumph in the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Sunday with a solid day in the Bud machines. Elliott prepared for the April 4 Samsung/RadioShack 500 in Ray Evernham’s creation while Foyt sought extra speed at his homestate speedway.



Truex followed the lead of his boss Earnhardt and swapped test drives throughout the day in the two Chance 2 Motorsports Chevrolets. Yeley also tested both of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Chevrolets following a morning scrape of the turn two wall.



“We were just as fast off the trailer as we were at the end of the day,” observed Earnhardt, winner of a Nextel Cup and a Busch race at Texas. “We’re happy with our car. Most of the day we were working on carburetors and intakes, trying to see what was the best for the car.



“We changed some setup things and learned a little bit. But overall, the car was real comfortable. The track is in great shape.



“There is a little more grip with this year’s tire which I like,” continued Earnhardt. “Last year, I thought the tire that was brought here was a little hard for the track, but this is really good, very comfortable.”



“We are just throwing a bunch of things at the car to see what happens today,” commented Elliott, who will be racing in the April 4 headliner during his part-time schedule this year. “We are going to look at the data in the morning, see what works best on the car and try to improve.”



Foyt was also seeking speed from his machine. The former student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth will have many friends and family at the speedway for the upcoming weekend.



“We are working on a lot of things,” said Foyt. “I haven’t been in a car for a couple of weeks and it is the first time on a mile and a half this year on this new Goodyear tire. We went out earlier and tried to get a feeling for that. The car feels pretty decent and I think we’re OK.



“I didn’t notice a difference in tires from last year here at Texas as I did at Daytona and Rockingham. The car feels pretty stable here where I noticed more of a difference at Daytona.”



Truex and Yeley were busy putting in laps and gathering information for their first NASCAR Busch Series starts at Texas.



“We tried a lot of different things today, front end changes, different springs and shocks,” said Truex. “We unloaded pretty good, were pretty good before lunch and kind of lost it a little after lunch. We are trying to get it back but the track got a little slicker in the afternoon.



“I feel good about us being ready for the race. I’m not sure what kind of times everybody else is running, but we’re not much slower than Dale Jr. That’s a pretty good gauge to go off of.”



“This place is very tricky,” commented Yeley who became only the second driver to win the USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget championships in one season during 2003. “The track actually started taking rubber with just five cars out on it. We fought the car being too tight all day long. We got better but we still have a lot of progress to go.



“You have to watch out for the walls here,” continued Yeley about his first Texas test. "We are trying to get our entries into the corners right. I had to concentrate on taking my time, giving it up a little on entry to make sure that I could get to a wide-open throttle a little quicker and get off the exit faster.



“For the first day, it’s definitely a lot different than I expected. We have some ideas, are going to think about it tonight and come back tomorrow with some changes and hopefully go quicker.”



Test sessions will continue Wednesday for the quintet of teams. All tests at the speedway are private and closed to the general public.



Season tickets are still available daily at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500 and online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Season tickets offer fans the same frontstretch seat for six major races at Texas Motor Speedway including the Samsung/RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.



Season ticket holders also receive free tickets to the April 2 Crown Royal International Race of Champions and free tickets to Fandango3 on April 1, a private party for season ticket holders featuring Mike Joy, Michael Waltrip and Ken Schrader.


Individual tickets are available for the April 3 O’Reilly 300 NASCAR Busch Series race and the April 2 Crown Royal International Race of Champions.


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