The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series baseline rules package takes to the track this week over a two-day open test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where drivers from 14 different premier series teams — along with one wheel force car from each of the three manufacturers — take part in an Organizational Open Test.
The best part? NASCAR Digital will host a live show Jan. 31, beginning at 11 a.m. ET, broadcasting the action in Las Vegas, providing instant analysis and talking with drivers in the Neon Garage at the 1.5-mile track.
RELATED: Bookmark for live show
Visit NASCAR.com on Thursday — https://www.nascar.com/lasvegastest — to watch the action unfold in real time, with reporter Jonathan Merryman and crew chief Chris Rice hosting a four-hour event that will include live updates from Las Vegas with NASCAR.com’s Jessica Ruffin and a live stream of the cars on track.
Among the Monster Energy Series drivers scheduled to be in Las Vegas are seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, 2015 champion Kyle Busch, 2012 champ Brad Keselowski, 2004 champion Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer. A full list is available below.
The two-day test begins at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, running through 10 p.m. ET. The first day includes general open track time, plus three 25-lap drafting sessions.
The live show on NASCAR.com also begins at 11 a.m. ET, wrapping up at 3 p.m. ET.
RELATED: More on 2019 rules package
NASCAR officials announced in October two baseline rules packages for the 2019 Monster Energy Series season, making a move to bolster competition with enhanced aerodynamic and engine configurations.
The different packages will be tailored to the specific tracks on the circuit, with a combination of a smaller tapered spacer to reduce engine horsepower to a target goal of 550 (from 750) and aero ducts to foster tighter racing on a majority of speedways measuring longer than 1 mile. Both features will be in place for 17 of the 36 races next season, excepting the 2019 Daytona 500, which will run with traditional restrictor-plate rules. Five other races will be run with the smaller spacer, but without ducts.
The baseline aero elements of the 2019 rules package are a taller 8-inch by 61-inch rear spoiler, a larger front splitter with a 2-inch overhang, and a wider radiator pan that measures 37 inches wide in the front tapering to 31 inches at the rear. Those base changes will be in place at every race next season with the intent of adding downforce to stabilize handling, a break from a trend of downforce reduction from 2015-18.
Teams tested earlier this year at Auto Club Speedway, but that Goodyear Tire Test was closed to the public and had three teams participating.
The full lineup for Las Vegas, including four NASCAR Xfinity Series rookies:
|Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||14||Monster Energy|
|Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||1||Monster Energy|
|Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||18||Monster Energy|
|Landon Cassill||StarCom Racing||00||Monster Energy|
|Ross Chastain||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Wheel Force||Monster Energy|
|Matt DiBenedetto||Leavine Family Racing||95||Monster Energy|
|Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||3||Monster Energy|
|Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||13||Monster Energy|
|Drew Herring||Toyota||Toyota Wheel Force||Monster Energy|
|Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||48||Monster Energy|
|Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||2||Monster Energy|
|Paul Menard||Wood Brothers||21||Monster Energy|
|Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||6||Monster Energy|
|Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||47||Monster Energy|
|David Ragan||Ford||Ford Wheel Force||Monster Energy|
|Bubba Wallace||Richard Petty Motorsports||43||Monster Energy|
|Cody Ware||Rick Ware Racing||51||Monster Energy|
|Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing||98||Xfinity|
|Noah Gragson||JR Motorsports||1||Xfinity|
|Riley Herbst||Joe Gibbs Racing||18||Xfinity|
|Zane Smith||JR Motorsports||9||Xfinity|