The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams wrapped up their Daytona International Speedway testing of the new cars for the 2013 season.
On-track activity calmed down at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Saturday, the final day of three days of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at the track, as teams returned to single-car runs during both of the day's test sessions. Overall, Greg Biffle (No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford) posted the fastest lap speed with a time of 194.936 mph. The lap was also the fastest single-car run of the entire three days of testing.
Biffle's former teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), posted the fastest lap speed during the three hour morning session with a 194.062 mph lap. He was the only driver to turn in a lap time faster than 194 mph in the morning. He followed that up with the second-fastest time in the afternoon session -- 194.717 mph.
Posting the second-fastest lap speed in the morning session was Trevor Bayne (No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford). After being fast in drafting practice on Friday afternoon, he turned in a 193.686 mph lap time on Saturday morning to be second only to Kenseth.
"You're just running through a lot of things, and the biggest thing is gathering data," Stewart said. "It's not about who's the fastest leaving here."
For the record, Stewart was fifth-fastest during the morning session and eighth in the afternoon. Speed also wasn't at the top of the list for Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet). While his team was working on the car and gathering data, the five-time champion driver was trying out new helmet options.
"We'll see what I end up with come the start of the year," Johnson said of the headwear decision.
Car owner Jack Roush also discounted the importance of lap times and speeds, after all, there are no technical inspections during test sessions, so there may be some cars that aren't quite up to spec.
"Our Fusions are doing a nice job," Roush said. "I don't think we're overstepping anything (rules-wise). Not sure if anyone else is."
Several additional teams also headed home early, either after the Friday sessions or after the Saturday morning session, simply because they decided they had compiled all the data they could or needed. Those teams included all three Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota teams -- the No. 15 and driver Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin's No. 55 and the No. 56 team with driver Martin Truex Jr. Twenty-one teams of the original 34 that arrived at the treack for testing on Thursday were still hanging around Daytona on Saturday morning. By the time the afternoon session rolled around on the final day, only 15 remained.