Teams that are “fast off the truck” – showing race-winning speed at the start of the weekend’s first practice session – typically have always had a leg up on their competition.
But just as many teams have found improvements during practice that have translated into victory on race day – or better yet, discovered a problem and were able to avert disaster before the race even started.
Really it comes down to checklists and having all your mechanics working through everything each week as carefully as possible
Penske competition director Travis Geisler
Since NASCAR competition restarted in mid-May, all three NASCAR national series – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks – simply show up and race to keep track activity and team rosters to a minimum.
Not catching mistakes
In the nearly four months since racing resumed, there have been numerous instances of teams penalized for issues in pre-race inspection or discovering problems once their car has been rolled to the starting grid that may have been averted had the driver had the opportunity to shake down the car in a practice session.
“Now more than ever that’s critical,” Team Penske competition director Travis Geisler said. “We just unload and we go race. A lot of times you would go practice, you’d work out some little things here and…