GENERAL MOTORS TESTING AT DAYTONA -- 1-10-95 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Robert Pressley, who was hand-picked as Harry Gant's successor to drive Leo Jackson's NASCAR Winston Cup race team, Tuesday christened the new Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- a model...
GENERAL MOTORS TESTING AT DAYTONA -- 1-10-95
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Robert Pressley, who was hand-picked as Harry Gant's successor to drive Leo Jackson's NASCAR Winston Cup race team, Tuesday christened the new Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- a model that will replace the Lumina used by Chevrolet teams for the last five years in the Daytona 500 -- at Daytona International Speedway by running the second-quickest lap of the winter, 191.083 mph. Defending Busch Clash winner Jeff Gordon was clocked at 190.154 mph in one of Rick Hendrick's cars as 10 General Motors teams opened a three-day test session preparing for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. Bobby Labonte, now driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, was third fastest at 189.633; and Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader also got over 189 in Hendrick's other two Monte Carlos.
Testing continues Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through the Visitors' Center.
"It was kind of nice knowing where I was going to be driving," said Pressley of his selection as Gant's replacement, prior to the start of the 1994 season. "This is a great way to start, because I never figured that we would come to Daytona and, on the first day, run this good."
The Skoal Bandit team showed up at the "World Center of Racing" with two new cars -- the first time Jackson had done that at the beginning of the testing sessions.
"We came here with one car painted because we needed to have some photos taken, and one car in primer," explained Pressley. "We figured we would run about 47.50 or so (189.474 mph) and get in three good days of practice. We also thought both cars would be about the same.
"They weren't. The good-looking car isn't fast and the ugly one goes really quick. You expect to pick up some each day, so if we pick up another two- or three-tenths of a second we'll feel really good. I'm really surprised we're going this fast, but I'm enjoying it. I know Leo is too."
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The fastest laps* turned in General Motors pre-season stock car testing Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway, listing driver/car, time in seconds and speed:
Robert Pressley/Chevrolet 47.10 191.083 Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet 47.33 190.134 Bobby Labonte/Chevrolet 47.46 189.633 Terry Labonte/Chevrolet 47.53 189.354 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 47.55 189.274 Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet 47.63 188.957 Bobby Hamilton/Pontiac 47.96 187.656 Greg Sacks/Pontiac 48.00 187.500 Ricky Craven/Chevrolet 48.42 185.874 Ward Burton/Chevrolet 49.19 183.153
* = Randomly hand-timed from various sources