NASCAR Cup teams complete first day of two-day test at Homestead

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Chase Elliott is among 11 drivers testing at Homestead this week. (HMS)
Chase Elliott is among 11 drivers testing at Homestead this week. (HMS)
Chase Elliott is among 11 drivers testing at Homestead this week. (HMS)

There is no rest for at least 11 Cup drivers this week.  The drivers, representing 11 Cup teams, headed south to Homestead-Miami Speedway Tuesday for the first of two days of testing.

The speedway will host the final race in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and decide who among four drivers will be crowned the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.  With only four races until that finale, the opportunity to test and gather data is invaluable for all the teams, led by several drivers who still have a shot at winning that title in that final race.  Five of the 11 testing this week are still in the Chase.  One of those is Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards, who lost the title here by a tiebreaker in 2011 to Tony Stewart.

“I was just telling my spotter it’s a fun place to drive,” Edwards said Tuesday. “My dream is to be in that final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, to win the race and to be the Sprint Cup Series champion.”

“This is a track that we have been really close at winning at,” said Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski who won his title here in 2012. “The last two races here we finished third both times. I think we have a really great shot at winning the race, so we are really looking forward to doing just that.”

No speeds were given, and no incidents were noted. Testing will continue Wednesday and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The drivers/teams participating in the test:

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion, Team Penske
Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 34 Ford Fusion, Front Row Motorsports
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford Fusion, Wood Brothers Racing
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Ford Fusion, Roush Fenway Racing
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet SS, Chip Ganassi Racing
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS, Hendrick Motorsports
Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet SS, Richard Childress Racing
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet SS, Stewart-Haas Racing
Michael McDowell, driver of the No. 95 Chevrolet SS, Circle-Sport Leavine Family Racing
Carl Edwards, driver of the No.19 Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
David Ragan, driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry, BK Racing

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series races at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.  The race will eliminate four drivers from this year’s Chase.