Daytona GM Test 97-01-07

Robby Gordon takes a turn at the top of the GM test chart at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7) -- NASCAR Winston Cup newcomer Robby Gordon proved he's a quick study as he posted the fastest lap of 16 teams present Tuesday in GM...

Robby Gordon takes a turn at the top of the GM test chart at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7) -- NASCAR Winston Cup newcomer Robby Gordon proved he's a quick study as he posted the fastest lap of 16 teams present Tuesday in GM NASCAR Winston Cup stock car testing at Daytona International Speedway, 187.387 mph, while preparing for the Feb. 16 Daytona 500. Gordon, a former Indy car driver and 1996 off-road racing champion, will drive Chevrolets for multiple team owner Felix Sabates in 1997. Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Terry Labonte and Jeff Gordon were second and third quickest, at 185.812 and 185.793, respectively. Rounding out the top five speeds were Ken Schrader (185.667) and Sterling Marlin (185.510). All drove Chevrolets. Elton Sawyer, in the No. 22 car in place of regular driver Ward Burton, was the fastest Pontiac at 183.809 mph. The GM test concludes today. The Oldfield Grandstand will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for no charge with access through the DAYTONA USA lobby. "I think the biggest thing is that we had a detailed list of what we wanted to try today," said Robby Gordon. "We made some changes from yesterday that we didn't think would make a difference. We found some things that were pluses and minuses and last night we put it all together, which is what we wanted from day one and it was a different race car this morning." "I think coming down here with Tony Glover, Pete Simmons and all the guys from Sabco, we all had high hopes to be competitive," said Gordon of his first test with new crew chief Glover, a three-time Daytona 500 winner. "I know practice sessions don't pay anything, but we can go back the next couple of weeks and work real hard and at least know that we're on the right track." "With Tony here, there is no reason we shouldn't run good here," said Gordon on working with the diminutive Tennessean. "He's won the race a lot. He's got a great record. I think that last year at the end of the year Felix went and put a good group of guys together and that's made the difference. Hopefully we'll come out at Daytona with this Coors team and be real competitive." "I'm real excited about Speedweeks," Gordon gushed. "Coming to test gets you pumped up. Just coming to Daytona and running around here gets you excited. It's exciting to get the season started off and get all of the guys out of the shop and get them to the race track. I think we've got a great group of guys and we'll be real competitive."

GENERAL MOTORS TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 7* NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 40 Robby Gordon/Chevrolet 48.029 secs 187.387 mph 5 Terry Labonte/Chevrolet 48.436 185.812 24 Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet 48.441 185.793 33 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 48.474 185.667 4 Sterling Marlin/Chevrolet 48.515 185.510 25 Ricky Craven/Chevrolet 48.576 185.277 42 Joe Nemechek/Chevrolet 48.634 185.056 17 Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet 48.733 184.680 31 Mike Skinner/Chevrolet 48.752 184.608 41 Steve Grissom/Chevrolet 48.869 184.166 71 Dave Marcis/Chevrolet 48.901 184.045 3 Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet 48.928 183.944 22 Elton Sawyer/Pontiac 48.964 183.809 36 Derrike Cope/Pontiac 49.043 183.512 30 Johnny Benson/Pontiac 49.783 180.785 51 Jeff Purvis/Chevrolet 50.132 179.526 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day.

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Series NASCAR-CUP