Almirola fastest on only day of Charlotte testing

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NASCAR Sprint Cup cars finally get on track on Friday afternoon. Thursday there was rain, Friday morning ice behind the SAFER barriers

After rain cancelled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday and thawing ice between the SAFER barriers and the concrete wall on Friday morning delayed Friday's session, teams finally got test time Friday afternoon and continued runs into the evening under the lights.

"We needed these two days to really figure out what the car is going to end up like," Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford said of the lost track time. "I'd rather stay as long as we can and get as much information as we can, versus having to pack this whole show up and go somewhere else again or come back later."

Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Fords dominated the top of the speed chart, with Aric Almirola posting the fastest lap speed 194.021 mph, or 27.832 seconds, in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Ford drivers/teams took all top-four spots, with Carl Edwards turning in a second-fastest 193.673 mph/27.882-second lap in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Casey Mears posting a 193.382 mph/27.924-second lap in the No. 13 Germain Racing Ford, and Marcos Ambrose turned in the fourth fastest lap at 193.285 mph/27.938 seconds. They were the only four drivers to post laps under 28 seconds.

But the Friday test session wasn't completely positive for all Ford teams. Both of Edwards' Roush Fenway Racing teammates, Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 17, each had an issue that resulted in contact with the wall. But Biffle's contact was fairly insignificant.

Biffle and Stenhouse, though, both postest top-10 laps prior to their incidents, with Greg Biffle posting a 28.036-second/192.61 mph lap for seventh-fastest honors and Stenhouse putting up a 28.075-second/192.342 mph lap, which was 10th-fastest in the session.

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Thirty-three cars made their ways onto the track throughout the test session, with Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet being the fastest among the non- Ford contingent. Johnson's fastest lap came in a 28.009 seconds or 192.795 mph.

NASCAR seemed pleased with the results from the Charlotte test, as only 1.05 seconds separated the fastest laps turned in by the fastest and slowest cars on hand for the session. The test at Charlotte was the last open test prior to the official start of the 2013 season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway next month.

"This is the deal where we all roll out new cars at the same time and everybody is trying to get a jump on the rest of the guys," Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, said. Truex was eighth fastest during the test, second- fastest among the Toyota camp. His MWR teammate, Mark Martin posted the fastest time in a Toyota at 28.032 seconds/192.637 mph, good enough for sixth-overall.

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Testing report
Tags almirola, biffle, chevrolet, edwards, ford, johnson, nascar-cup, stenhourse, toyota, truex