All 10 ¿Chase¿ drivers scheduled to test here Jan. 31 and Feb. 1

 

            Just how important is Preseason Thunder Las Vegas?

All 10 drivers in last year¿s Chase for the Nextel Cup have indicated they will visit LVMS Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to prepare for the March 13 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. In 2004, eight of the 10 drivers who made the Chase for the Championship tested in Las Vegas.

            The top-10 drivers from 2004 are part of a record list of 35 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers who will attend the two-day test on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The testing list includes Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman ¿ two drivers who didn¿t test in 2004 and struggled during the race.

            The Las Vegas test will mark the first full test for most of the teams with the shorter spoilers and new tire compounds instituted by NASCAR and Goodyear for the 2005 season.

            In addition, 14 NASCAR Busch Series drivers are scheduled to test Feb. 2 and 3. Reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and Shane Hmiel, who won the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 2004, are among the drivers scheduled for the two-day Busch test.

            The speedway¿s grandstands will be open to the public free of charge all four days. The testing starts at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 5 p.m. each day. 

Following is a complete list of the drivers scheduled to test.

 

Nextel Cup drivers (Jan. 31-Feb. 1): John Andretti, Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Jason Leffler, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Scott Riggs, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, Johnny Sauter, Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip.

 

Busch Series drivers (Feb. 2-3): Martin Truex Jr., Johnny Borneman, Denny Hamlin, Shane Hmiel, Michel Jourdain Jr., Justin Labonte, Johnny Sauter, Brent Sherman, Reed Sorenson, Tyler Walker, Kenny Wallace, Paul Wolfe, Paul Menard, J.J. Yeley