Lowe's Motor Speedway testing news and notes: Jason Jarrett and Cam Strader top the speed charts. CONCORD, N.C. (May 2, 2002) - Third-generation stock car racer Jason Jarrett and rising star Cam Strader topped the speed charts Tuesday night at...
Lowe's Motor Speedway testing news and notes:
Jason Jarrett and Cam Strader top the speed charts.
CONCORD, N.C. (May 2, 2002) - Third-generation stock car racer Jason Jarrett and rising star Cam Strader topped the speed charts Tuesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway as testing kicked off for Coca-Cola 600 Month of May activities.
Jarrett's unofficial lap at 180.060 mph around the 1.5-mile superspeedway set the pace among 15 ARCA RE/MAX Series teams as they prepared for the May 18 running of the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100. Strader was clocked on hand-held watches at 151.941 mph as 19 teams tuned up their machines for the May 23 Tom Johnson Camping Center/EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series race.
"I think we learned a lot tonight," said Jarrett after climbing from his No. 67 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "I actually liked the alternating format with the Dash Series cars because we were able to take more time and make bigger changes to the car.
"Normally, when we come here, we work on the car during the day then I'm always way too tight at night. We always seem to fool ourselves, but tonight we definitely went the right way. I'm as happy with this test as any test we've had this year."
Clocking in behind Jarrett were: Billy Venturini, 179.104; Chad Blount, 179.045; Chase Montgomery, 177.749; Robby Benton, 175.953; and Wally Fowler, 173.410.
Strader, the defending NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion and winner of last year's Tom Johnson Camping Center/EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100, established himself as the favorite to record a second straight victory aboard his No. 6 Ford. Johnny Chapman was just a tick of the watch behind Strader at 151.345 mph followed by Eric Wilson (150.083) and Dash Series veteran Robert Huffman (149.917).
The five-hour practice session was marred by three accidents:
* Jim Pate lost control of the No. 11 ARCA RE/MAX Series machine he had rented from 1995 series champion Andy Hillenburg and slammed the energy-absorbing soft wall lining the inside of turn two. Pate's car was heavily damaged, but he walked away uninjured.
* Arlene Pittman also escaped injury when her NASCAR Goody's Dash Series machine spun backward into the turn four wall.
* A cut tire sent David Hutto's Dash Series entry into the wall between turns three and four. Hutto's car received heavy right-side damage, but he was also uninjured.
Chad Blount had the lone Dodge Intrepid in the ARCA RE/MAX Series garage area.
"The first car we bought was from Ganassi Racing and when they switched to Dodge we wanted to be loyal to them, so we switched too," said the Walkerton, Ind., native. "This car is actually the first car we bought from Ganassi. It was a Chevrolet and we put a Dodge body on it."
NASCAR veteran Ernie Elliott builds the Dodge engines for Blount's team. "We're definitely not hurting for horsepower," Blount concluded with a big smile.
**** Young Michael Vergers, the only driver from the United Kingdom scheduled to compete in the May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, recorded a fastest a lap of 172.029 mph in the ARCA RE/MAX Series car owned by 19-time ARCA race winner Bob Schacht.
**** The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series cars will utilize a restrictor plate with holes measuring 1 1/16th inches during the Tom Johnson Camping Center/EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100. With the Dash Series cars using two-barrel carburetors to feed gas and air into their four-cylinder engines, the restrictor plates have only two holes where those used on Winston Cup and Busch Series cars have four.
**** The 15-inch bias-ply tires Goodyear uses on the Goody's Dash Series car here at Lowe's Motor Speedway are the same tires teams also use on the superspeedways at Daytona, Kentucky and Nashville along with the high-banked concrete half-mile at Bristol.
**** Former NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief Troy Selberg, who lives in nearby Harrisburg, was patrolling the garage area. Selberg now operates Selberg Consulting, specializing in race team evaluation and race car preparation.
**** Tickets for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 18 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100 and the May 23 Tom Johnson Camping Center/EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100, are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.