Villeneuve impressive in maiden test

Jacques Villeneuve successfully completed on Tuesday his first NASCAR test at Chicagoland Speedway, showing constant progress at the wheel of the No. 27 Bill Davis Racing truck

Villeneuve impressive in maiden test

Villeneuve did his first laps in the Toyota Tundra truck on Monday, and after his first run he was already lapping within six tenths of a second of the benchmark set by Craftsman Truck Series champion and current points leader Mike Skinner, who was at the track to coach the Canadian.

The former Indy 500 champion, who had not driven on an oval since 1995, ended the first day only 0.15 seconds shy of Skinner's lap time.

After further set-up changes on the second day, and feeling more at ease with the truck, Villeneuve was able to match his target, setting a best lap of 31.00 seconds.

"It was a great test," Villeneuve said. "I missed racing on ovals, so it has been a lot of fun the last few days. I definitely learned a lot.

"The truck has a lot more grip then I thought it was going to have. It turns very well. It took a little getting used to at first, but I am very comfortable in it now."

Villeneuve worked with his new crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe, who took the opportunity of having a private test to confront Villeneuve's feedback with the telemetry they were able to use, but which is not allowed in races.

The Canadian was said to be 'spot on' with what the data showed despite his lack of stock car experience.

"Jacques did very well," said BDR truck team manager Mark Chambers. "He gives incredible feedback and adapted to the truck extremely well.

"Overall, I would have to say that he was very impressive on and off the track. He will be a great asset to BDR."

Villeneuve will be making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race debut on September 22nd at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a track similar to Chicagoland - also at 1.5 miles in length, although with a bit more banking.

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