NASCAR DRIVERS BEAT THE HEAT WHILE BEGINNING TEST

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The temperature at Chicagoland Speedway rose above 90 degrees today as NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Greg Biffle and NASCAR Busch Series drivers Coy Gibbs, Scott Wimmer, Mike Wallace, and Jason Keller began testing for the upcoming July 11-13 NASCAR weekend.

"It's hot today," said Biffle while waiting to go back out in his #16 Grainger Ford, "but that's really good for us because this is what it will most likley be like on race day." After completing approximately 30 laps during his morning session, Biffle was already pleased with the results of the test. "The car was already great off the truck, so we are basically just working on our shock package and getting the right feel into the car for the race," Biffle said. "The test session is going very well and I'm real happy with what we've done so far."

Being a rookie, Biffle knows the importance of qualifying well. "Qualifying is what I am concentrating on for the (Tropicana 400) and hopefully I can start in the top 15 or 20," said Biffle. "This team is also very capable of a top 10 finish and that is why we are here testing."

Jason Keller, who finished in second place behind Biffle in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series championship run, will be pulling double duty during the July 11-13 NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Keller will pilot the #57 Albertson Ford in the Tropicana Twister 300, NASCAR Busch Series event and the #81 Kraft Chevy in the Tropicana 400, NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Keller will drive for Chance 2 Motorsports, which is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt. This particular team was formed to help develop young mechanics, pit crew members and drivers. "Driving for Chance 2 Motorsports is a great opportunity for me and it is neat to see a different side of racing with this team. I'm concentrating on making sure I relay the right information to them so I can get the right feel into car," said Keller. Like Biffle, qualifying is what Keller is mainly working on today. "Qualifying is extremely important for us because we won't have any provisionals to use, so we will use this test to get a set-up that will get us into the race and be competitive."

Mike Wallace, Coy Gibbs and Scott Wimmer were also on hand testing for the upcoming Tropicana Twister 300, NASCAR Busch Series event. Speaking about the speedway, Wimmer said, "The track is in great shape and doesn't feel too different from last year. It still has a lot of grip to it and is very smooth." Wimmer hopes this test session will give him what he needs for a win. "We are working on race set-up during this test session. We have points to fall back on for qualifying so we want to make sure we have a great set-up come race day."

Wednesday, June 25, Kevin Harvick, defending winner of the Tropicana 400, and Johnny Sauter, defending winner of the Tropicana Twister 300, will join the test session. Harvick will be testing his #29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy and Sauter will be testing the #4 Kodak Pontiac, the ride previously held by Mike Skinner.

Click here for more information about the test session.

Click here for photos of the test session.

Click here for more information about the July 11-13 NASCAR/IROC weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

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