Testing At Martinsville
March 27-28, 2001

Jeff Gordon participated in a two day test session Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday-Wednesday, March 27-28. He was originally scheduled to test at Martinsville on March 20-21 but rain wiped out the session. The skies were sunny, but there was a definite chill in the Virginia air. "We still have some adjusting to do on it to make it good on the long runs, but we feel like we’ve found something that will be extremely competitive," Gordon said.

March 28 Test Laps:
Jeff Gordon 20.08 seconds-94.302 mph; Johnny Benson 20.18 seconds-93.835 mph; Kevin Harvick 20.20 seconds-93.742 mph; Kevin Lepage 20.22 seconds-93.649 mph; Mark Martin 20.25 seconds-93.511 mph; Kenny Wallace 20.28 seconds-93.372 mph; Jason Leffler 20.35 seconds-93.051 mph; Hermie Sadler 20.35 seconds-93.051; Andy Houston 20.36 seconds-93.005 mph; Buckshot Jones 20.41 seconds-92.778 mph

March 27 Test Laps:
Kevin Harvick- 20.20 seconds; Kenny Wallace- 20.28 seconds; Jeff Gordon-20.32 seconds; Elliott Sadler- 20.35 seconds; Steve Park- 20.37 seconds; Jerry Nadeau- 20.40 seconds; Jason Leffler- 20.43 seconds; Mark Martin- 20.45 seconds; Hermie Sadler- 20.60 seconds; Buckshot Jones- 20.60 seconds; Kevin Lepage- 20.60 seconds; Andy Houston- 20.85 seconds

The Inside Line On Testing
By Wendy Hall

I went to Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday, March 27. It was COLD up there. I got wind and sun-burned on my face but stayed there the entire day and enjoyed it. I arrived around 9:10 am and assumed that Jeff was already at the track. I went in and sat on the backstretch near the new garage area. Around 9:40, they stopped testing and let some vehicles enter the infield. I noticed that just after those cars parked, Jeff came walking across the infield area and went in the hauler (he was in street clothes then, so I assumed he had just gotten there.) If I had stayed outside the gate instead of going in, I might would have gotten to see him. Oh well, that's my luck.

It was fun to listen to the team on the scanner. Before Jeff came out in his driving suit, someone said, "It's 9:45 and I haven't even seen Jeff!" Then it was announced by someone else that he was at the track changing into his driving suit.

Jeff didn't seem to be impressed with the new pit road (it was widened ever so slightly in the off-season.. but it's still pretty tight.) It was neat to listen to them just talk open and honestly. They stopped testing again an hour or so later for more vehicles to enter the track, mainly members of the media. "Gosh, this must be the biggest thing to happen in Virginia in a long time... I've never seen so much media!" Jeff said. Well, he was right. Things are pretty boring in southern Virginia. When the Winston Cup series comes to town, it is BIG news. After all, this is NASCAR country.

Jeff tested two cars at Martinsville. One was painted with the flames on the side and roof (no decals, just the "24" on the side) and the other had just primer paint and "24B" written on the side.

Turning the corner - 68k
Jeff follows Elliott Sadler
(Photo by Wendy Hall)
Onto the straightaway - 58k
Heading down the backstretch
(Photo by Wendy Hall)

Exiting the garage - 67k
Exiting the new garage area
(Photo by Wendy Hall)
Transition - 11k
Jeff makes the transition from the concrete corner onto the straightaway asphalt
(Photo by Don and Sharon Lovern)

24B in the corner - 59k
24B in the center of the corner
(Photo by Wendy Hall)
In turn three - 45k
Heading through turn three
(Photo by Don and Sharon Lovern)

The helicopter sitting on the other side of the pit wall belongs to Rusty Wallace. He stopped by to watch the test session of his brother Kenny Wallace and his Penske Racing teammate Jeremy Mayfield.

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