Indianapolis Brickyard day one test report

Skinner leads rain-shortened Brickyard 400 test session at Indy. INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 9, 2002 - Rain snipped both ends of the opening Brickyard 400 testing session July 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Mike Skinner snipped Todd...

Skinner leads rain-shortened Brickyard 400 test session at Indy.

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 9, 2002 - Rain snipped both ends of the opening Brickyard 400 testing session July 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Mike Skinner snipped Todd Bodine's effort to lead the speed chart with two cars.

Skinner, driver of the Kodak Film Chevrolet, made a speedy late run just before severe thunderstorms forced the closing the track for the day shortly after 5 p.m. (EST). Skinner clocked a time of 50.4773 seconds and speed of 178.298 mph to top 14 other NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers participating in the two-day test session.

A steady morning rain delayed start of testing until 2 p.m. Then a boiling sun hiked the track temperature to 134 degrees before black clouds and heavy rain moved in from the west.

During the sunny period, Bodine, brother of track record holder Brett Bodine, turned a best lap of 177.920 mph in his No. 26A Discover Card Ford and recorded a second-fastest circuit of the famed 21/2-mile oval at 176.379 in his primary No. 26 machine.

"A lot of other guys haven't taped up (the front end of the car) yet," Skinner said. "We didn't completely tape up. We did kind of little semi runs there. It felt good. In class, for the Chevys, I think we're pretty good."

Skinner, who finished ninth in the 2000 Brickyard 400 but missed last year's race, thinks the record of 181.072 mph set by Brett Bodine in 2000 could fall.

"Looking at this test, it surely looks like it," Skinner said. "We don't have good engines in these cars, either one of them. We'll have a lot more engine when we come back. I'm sure when some of the guys who are great qualifiers here come, you're going to see some fast times. I wouldn't be surprised to see it get in the 49's (seconds)."

Todd Bodine, along with brothers Brett and Geoffrey Bodine, qualified for the first Brickyard in 1994. Todd also made the 43-car starting field in 1995 and 2000.

"It's just a real momentum track," said the youngest Bodine.

"I've always enjoyed it. From the very first race we ran here, I ran ninth in that race. Actually, had a better car than that, but ended up ninth. But we've always run well here. We've taken to it like a duck to water."

The third-fastest driver of the day was veteran Mark Martin, who stands second in the point standings to fellow veteran Sterling Marlin. Martin clipped off a 176.101-mph lap late in the session in his Pfizer/Viagra Ford.

Martin's car owner Jack Roush, who was nearly killed in a experimental aircraft crash on his 60th birthday last April, was on hand to watch the test. Martin's teammate Kurt Busch was fourth fastest at 175.453, while veteran Ken Schrader clocked in at fifth with a speed of 175.201.

Two-time Brickyard champion Dale Jarrett was next at 175.157, followed by Dave Blaney (175.121) and Marlin (175.009). Dale Earnhardt Jr., who turned the most laps (46) in his Budweiser Chevrolet, was 15th fastest on the speed chart at 173.935.

The ninth annual Brickyard 400 is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 4.

<pre> NASCAR Winston Cup Series Testing Results, July 9, 2002 Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Pos. Car No.    Driver                  Best Speed      Laps
1.      4A      Mike Skinner            178.298 mph     26
2.      26A     Todd Bodine             177.920         20
3.      26      Todd Bodine             176.379         19
4.      6       Mark Martin             176.101         43
5.      97A     Kurt Busch              175.453         28
6.      36A     Kenny Schrader          175.201         18
7.      88      Dale Jarrett            175.157         32
8.      77A     Dave Blaney             175.121         28
9.      40T     Sterling Marlin         175.009         28
10.     97      Kurt Busch              174.798         18
11.     31A     Robby Gordon            174.739         8
12.     77B     Dave Blaney             174.584         14
13.     4       Mike Skinner            174.458         7
14.     6A      Mark Martin             174.269         26
15.     8       Dale Earnhardt Jr.      173.935         46
16.     1       Steve Park              173.825         25
17.     32B     Ricky Craven            173.700         11
18.     5A      Terry Labonte           173.670         22
19.     32A     Ricky Craven            173.567         11
20.     36      Kenny Schrader          173.205         9
21.     23      Hut Stricklin           173.145         25
22.     40      Sterling Marlin         172.663         24
23.     23A     Hut Stricklin           172.336         12
24.     1A      Steve Park              172.241         29
25.     5       Terry Labonte           171.981         4
26.     31      Robby Gordon            171.152         14
27.     55      Bobby Hamilton          170.510         33
28.     8A      Dale Earnhardt Jr.      170.456         4
29.     55A     Bobby Hamilton          168.391         11

-ims-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Brett Bodine , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Geoffrey Bodine , Ken Schrader , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Hut Stricklin , Ricky Craven , Jack Roush , Dave Blaney , Mark Martin