Daytona Beach, FLA. (Feb. 9, 2002) - The True Value IROC team had one on-track session Saturday morning, which the team utilized for a final speed check on all the race cars, and for driver practice.
NASCAR Winston Cup driver, Dale Jarrett, 2001 NASCAR Truck champion, Jack Sprague and 2001 World of Outlaws champion, Danny Lasoski took practice laps together.
Veteran series test drivers Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter, Dick Trickle and Andy Hillenburg were on hand to run the speed check and to add more cars into the driver practice session for drafting.
Jarrett and Sprague both reported the rose color car as feeling loose. That car was taken back to the garage area and checked over by the True Value IROC mechanics. A chassis adjustment and new set of Goodyear tires corrected the loose feel according to Trickle.
Dale Jarrett said, "Everything feels good, you certainly can pull up on the other guy in these (IROC) cars. The one car was a bit loose coming off the turns, but otherwise everything's great."
The 2002 set up on the IROC cars is identical to the 2001 configuration. "The cars have been good since we got here. We're real happy with how close the cars are running," said True Value IROC President Jay Signore. "We'll be paying close attention to changes in the condition of the race track as the week rolls on and make adjustments as we need to. Today is the hottest it's been since we've been here and now with ARCA, DASH, and the Cup cars putting down more rubber the track has loosened up a bit."
Today was Jack Sprague's first time in a True Value IROC car. "Man, these cars feel awesome," said Jack Sprague. "That was the most fun I've had in a while. They drove better than I expected, but it's hard to pass. You can go anywhere with them on the track. It's definitely and honor."
A champion on dirt, but a rookie on pavement, Lasoski has been logging as many practice laps as possible since the series' first practice on Tuesday.
"Well, the mechanics decided to have some fun with me today and they put a big yellow stripe on the back of my practice car. They're way of just reminding me I'm the rookie. "
About running with Dale Jarrett and Jack Sprague: "They took me to school today, this is the first I've been on pavement. I'm just getting comfortable with the car and all the drivers have been phenomenal in coaching me. I'm just learning what to do and what not to do running on the race track with somebody. I want to be able to gain their confidence and work my way to the front and do a good job next Friday."
A champion in his own right, how does he feel running against the other champions: "I'm still numb about the whole situation, it's such an honor to be here racing against these guys, but I'm not going to roll over for them next Friday, I'm going to do the best job I can. I want to represent everybody out at the dirt tracks well and make them proud."
True Value IROC testing will continue throughout Speedweeks for the season opener on Friday, Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway. ESPN will broadcast race one on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.