Gordon records fastest speed as GM teams open testing at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 6) -- Jeff Gordon posted the fastest time of 15 General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup stock car teams that opened their pre-season testing season Monday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 16 Daytona 500. Gordon was clocked at 48.194 seconds, an average speed of 186.745 mph, in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo, one of three Hendrick team cars that was on hand. Teammate Terry Labonte, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion, was second-quickest at 186.734 mph, followed by two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin (185.628) and 1989 Daytona 500 winner Darrell Waltrip (185.254). All drove Chevies. The quickest Pontiac was the No. 36 car driven by Derrike Cope, with a best lap of 183.715 mph. Gordon's lap was marginally slower than the first day time turned in by Dale Jarrett three days earlier in a Ford, 48.169/186.842. The GM test continues today. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for no charge with access through the DAYTONA USA lobby.

GENERAL MOTORS TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 3* NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 24 Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet 48.194 secs 186.745 mph 5 Terry Labonte/Chevrolet 48.197 186.734 4 Sterling Marlin/Chevrolet 48.484 185.628 17 Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet 48.582 185.254 41 Steve Grissom/Chevrolet 48.722 184.721 71 Dave Marcis/Chevrolet 48.741 184.649 33 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 48.807 184.400 25 Ricky Craven/Chevrolet 48.841 184.271 36 Derrike Cope/Pontiac 48.989 183.715 3 Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet 49.036 183.539 40 Robby Gordon/Chevrolet 49.238 182.786 22 Elton Sawyer/Pontiac 49.337 182.419 51 Jeff Purvis/Chevrolet 49.900 180.361 42 Joe Nemechek/Chevrolet 49.920 180.288 30 Johnny Benson/Pontiac 49.927 180.263 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day.

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