A pair of NASCAR Nationwide Series cars were on track yesterday for the first time in Mid-Ohio history. It was also the latest in the year that Mid-Ohio has ever hosted a test. Typical Ohio weather calls for freezing temperatures and snow this deep in December but some relatively mild weather enabled Max Papis and Austin Dillon to turn laps just eight days before Christmas. Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Advocare Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing made his first visit to the 13-turn road course alongside a Mid-Ohio veteran in Papis. Papis tested a Chevrolet Camaro and provided coaching and tips to Dillon throughout the day. Referring to himself as the “Phil Jackson of NASCAR,” Papis was able to use his decades of experience at Mid-Ohio to teach Dillon the ins and outs of the technical track.
Dillon finished third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last year and felt he left some points on the table at road courses. “Hopefully this gives us an head start for when we come back in August.”
Both drivers had glowing things to say about the track. Papis told stories about his first trip to Lexington in 1996 and about his love for what was his home track from 1999-2001 when he raced for Bobby Rahal. Dillon said, “It’s my first time here, but just pulling up to the track, then to the garage and getting on track, it’s a beautiful facility.”
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200, NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Mid-Ohio, is set for August 16-17, 2013. Tickets are available here.
More videos of the test on Youtube:
Austin Dillon on the Front Straight - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ALeIZGBGg
Max Papis in the Keyhole - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjSBHzVOP4E
Austin Dillon leaving the garage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh9eOeJM9fo