Daytona International Speedway: Goodyear Test Drivers Lined Up

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Daytona International Speedway: Goodyear Test Drivers Lined Up
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In the first test to get ready for the 2011 season, Daytona looks to play host with it's brand new pavement after the pothole drama last year.

The test will be taking place next week, December 15th and 16th, to help Goodyear in determining which tire compound goes well with the track surface for the Daytona 500.

Four Sprint Cup Series Chase drivers are set to attend, with those being Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth.

It'd make sense for both Gordon and Busch to go as they will be working with new variables for 2011.

Gordon will be working with new crew chief Alan Gustafson, while teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin will also have new crew chiefs for 2011 (Steve LeTarte and Lance McGrew). This will allow them to start getting used to each other.

Their teammate and five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson will not be in attendance, however. The No. 48 team, though, has been testing since Monday and Tuesday, following the banquet with test driver Josh Wise.

Busch will have a new nose on the front of his car that Dodge has brought out, so both him and teammate Brad Keselowski will be trying it out.

Also attending the test will be Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya), Roush Fenway Racing (along with Kenseth, David Ragan), Richard ChildressRacing (along with Burton, Paul Menard), JTG Daugherty Racing (Bobby Labonte), Red Bull Racing (Reed Sorenson in the No. 83), Furniture Row Racing (Regan Smith), Wood Brothers Racing (Trevor Bayne), Germain Racing (Casey Mears), Gunselman Motorsports (Todd Bodine) and K-Automotive Motorsports (Brian Keselowski).

Jason Smith/Getty Images

For most of the teams listed above, it will be their first time working together, so this will allow them to get to know each other and prepare for the new year.

For Red Bull Racing, Reed Sorenson is expected to test for them in place of driver Brian Vickers as he is not off the blood thinners yet after missing the second half of the year due to blood clots.

Teams not attending include Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Robby Gordon Motorsports.

Richard Petty Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing both do not need to attend, as they can grab notes off of teams that they have been working with. RPM has a technical alliance with Roush-Fenway Racing, while SHR has a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports.

Also, there is another test planned in January from the 20th and 22nd that will have the compound set in stone and is open to all teams, so they will be able to get more set more information in stone at that time. 

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