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Roush plays catchup with foes on testing

Roush teams are getting ready for the Car of Tomorrow.

By BY KELLIE DIXON
Published May 26, 2007


CONCORD, N.C. - Jack Roush said his Roush Fenway Racing teams are going to join the "testing game" so they will be more competitive in the Car of Tomorrow, which NASCAR will run full time in 2008.

Roush said Thursday that Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing teams have been "going around NASCAR's policy and their intention" by conducting additional COT tests.

"They were going to start everybody on the Car of Tomorrow on an even basis saying there's four or five tests, whatever it was, that's what you get, that's what you've got, " Roush said. "Well, the teams that have been successful ... have been testing these cars multiple times a week on racetracks that were outside of NASCAR's control with tires that were not Goodyear for the most part because they won't sell the tires."

Jeff Gordon maintained that Hendrick Motorsports, which has won four of the five COT races, isn't doing anything wrong because it is using non-NASCAR tracks and non-Goodyear tires.

"We're utilizing a track just to gather information, and I would admit that it's definitely playing a role in helping us get to where we are, " said Gordon, who has won two COT races. "I don't know what the Gibbs teams or Childress teams are doing, but if the Roush teams aren't doing that, then that's their mistake."

The next COT race is June 3 at Dover.

PENSKE TOUCH: Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch qualified first and second for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, and Penske's Helio Castroneves is the pole-sitter in the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day.

LONG HAUL: At 600 miles, Sunday's race is the longest on the Nextel Cup schedule. "This race is so long it has its own seasons, " said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified fourth. "You'll age 30 years running a race here. But with the things that will happen, you'll have a problem, and you'll come back, you'll rebound. Next thing you know, you're out of it, then you're in it."