Greg Biffle has tested twice on the brand-new racing surface at Darlington Raceway. Kasey Kahne will be on it for the first time Thursday when Sprint Cup teams open practice for the Dodge Challenger 500.
Neither knows what to expect.
"It's a big unknown," Biffle said.
"Any time we go to a repave we're all holding our breath because anything can happen."
Biffle, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon did a Goodyear tire test after the repaving, and after expressing concerns over how that went they went back for a second test to try to get the right tire.
"There are only so many parts of the puzzle that make up the speed, and you can only make the tires so hard and we can still drive it to slow the car down," Biffle said.
"Goodyear has done what it can to slow the car down in speed and its hands are tied at the speed we're going, which is fast. That's the best tire they can make and we can still drive it.
"It's going to be really interesting. I hope the racing isn’t too single-file. One thing about that race track is it's hard to get side-by-side going so fast, so that's going to be the real key is how can we get side-by-side with the increase in speed and the shape of that race track."
Kahne said he figures the two additional practices the teams will get Thursday will be particularly interesting.
"How fast will we go?" Kahne said.
"Will you get right up on the wall or run a little lower than we have been? There are some unknowns for someone like myself who hasn't tested there. I am just excited to get there."