Teams wrap up final day of testing at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 16, 2001) -- For the third straight day, 18-year-old Chase Montgomery was the fastest in ARCA RE/MAX Series testing at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 10 Discount Auto Parts 200. Montgomery,...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 16, 2001) -- For the third straight day, 18-year-old Chase Montgomery was the fastest in ARCA RE/MAX Series testing at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 10 Discount Auto Parts 200.

Montgomery, driving the No. 6 Pontiac owned by his father Ray, eclipsed the 184 mph mark, turning a fast lap of 184.060 mph around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Veteran Bobby Gerhart was second fastest in his No. 5 Chevrolet with a speed of 183.284.


Bobby Gerhart. Photo: dis

While Montgomery stole the show of the test session and will be a strong contender to win the season opener in February, you can't forget about Gerhart. The veteran who fields his own operation has made 14 starts in the Discount Auto Parts 200 and posted four top-10 finishes in the last four races, including a victory in 1999.

The 43-year-old native of Lebanon, Penn., likes going door-to-door in a 180 mph draft at Daytona International Speedway and says the track just seems to bring the best out of him.

"I love this place," Gerhart said. "It's Daytona. I've always felt that a racer's got to put his best foot forward at a place like this if you're serious about it and I've always been serious about it."

With as many laps as Gerhart has turned at the "World Center of Racing," he says he experience plays a major factor in his ability to finish strong.

"It's still pretty easy place to get around, but you're still out there with 42 cars," Gerhart said. "You cannot beat experience at a place like this or any superspeedway because your experience do more for you than you can say it does."

Gerhart will have a busy Speedweeks 2002 at Daytona. He will not only compete in the Discount Auto Parts 200, but will also look to race in either the EAS/GNC Live Well 300 Busch Series season opener or make a run at making the field for the Daytona 500.

During the test, Gerhart lent out his machines and worked with a couple of rookie drivers who are attempting to qualifying for ARCA rookie status. He also focused on his aerodynamic package for the February race.

"It's going on as planned," Gerhart said. "We have a regiment of test engines we work with. (The engines) are down considerably than what we're going to come back with in any car. We're just trying to find a magic aero spot where the car likes the run and go back and plug a little more power in it."

Next up at Daytona International Speedway is the World Karting Association on Dec. 26-30. Fans can purchased tickets for Speedweeks 2002 events online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

Top-Five Test Speeds
1. Chase Montgomery, Pontiac, 184.060
2. Bobby Gerhart, Chevrolet, 183.284
3. Wally Schweizer, Chevrolet, 182.500
4. Keith Segars, Chevrolet, 181.811
5. Shelby Howard, Pontiac, 180.480

-DIS-

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Chase Montgomery , Bobby Gerhart , Shelby Howard