NASCAR set for important test at repaved Daytona - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

NASCAR set for important test at repaved Daytona

ATLANTA (AP) - Just two months after Jimmie Johnson won his fifth straight NASCAR title, it's time to start those engines at Daytona International Speedway.

About 40 teams are expected at the high-banked trioval for three days of testing that begins Thursday, all preparing for next month's Daytona 500.

The speedway spent $20 million repaving the historic track after an embarrassing pothole halted last year's 500. Defending champion Jamie McMurray says the new surface should lead to the sort of tight racing that's become the norm at the other restrictor-plate track, Talladega.

McMurray was in Atlanta on Wednesday for a promotional appearance. He was joined by Daytona president Joie Chitwood, who wants to make sure the 500 is a must-see event on the sports calendar.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.

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