Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson says that testing an IndyCar on an oval at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday turned out to be a perfect storm in terms of the conditions given that the summer heat meant that the seven-time MONSTER Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion was only able to do roughly 30 laps per a stint over his time at the track.

Johnson confirmed that it was great to have his teammates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan at the track and also having Dario Franchitti there too.

Speaking to Paddock Eye during a conference call on Tuesday, Johnson said:

You know, the track, especially the way it is now after the reconfiguration, it’s tricky. In one respect I was nervous to go to such a tricky track middle of the summer at low grip. One car, not putting much rubber down.

But then as I thought about it more as I got closer to the test date, it would be a proper test: Worst case scenario, worst case conditions.

After I worked through the first few sets of tires, it felt so much more familiar to me, and I would even say by the end of the day I was more in tune with the car than I’ve been on a road or street course so far.

The second half of the test session was very comfortable for me and felt much more like home. Now looking back at having that as my first oval test, since I’ve had so many reps there in a stock car, it really, really turned out to be the right place.

I know we were looking at Homestead prior to, and I think that would have been a really tricky situation for the team, for myself. Tire deg is even higher yet. So it’s turned out to be the perfect storm for me to evaluate an oval in an INDYCAR.

Johnson said that he hopes that he can take something away from the oval test that he can bring into the final three road course events of the season in Portland, Laguna Seca, and the season-ending Acura Grand Prix on the streets of Long Beach. The Californian commented saying:

Yeah, I think I’m recalibrating my senses to the lateral G’s of the car. There’s no better place than running flat out around Texas Motor Speedway. That’s been a spot that I’ve been able to improve on but still missing a little bit is just trusting the car in the faster corners and knowing that going slower is actually worse. You have less downforce and the car is more comfortable, and if you do push harder and carry a few more mile an hour, the car will stick better.

I hope that yesterday was a nice recalibration for me to understand the potential of the car.

Johnson has also confirmed that he is likely to participate in the Indianapolis 500 rookie orientation program in October following the conclusion of the 2021 season with a full field Firestone tire test and confirmed that Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Romain Grosjean who is likely to join Andretti Autosport for 2022 will also be present at the ROP test.

Johnson also stated that the test at Texas Motor Speedway was mandated by the NTT IndyCar Series to see how he got on prior to a potential Indianapolis 500 bid. The former NASCAR driver said that there are a lot of moving parts before a decision is made on whether or not he will compete in the 500 first and foremost is what his family wants him to do.

Johnson also said that it depends on what the team and sponsors want to do next season.

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