Rusty Wallace Still Fastest in Daytona Test

Wallace posts big numbers at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 1999) Miller Lite Ford driver Rusty Wallace Wednesday posted the fastest lap of winter stock car testing at Daytona International Speedway, for the second straight day, as Ford...

Wallace posts big numbers at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 1999) Miller Lite Ford driver Rusty Wallace Wednesday posted the fastest lap of winter stock car testing at Daytona International Speedway, for the second straight day, as Ford Motor Company's NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams ended their preparations here for the season-opening Daytona 500.

Wallace toured the 2.5-mile track in 46.601 seconds, an average speed of 193.129 mph, in one of two Tauruses he tested. Wallace thus became the first driver to eclipse 191 (Monday), 192 and 193 mph this winter at the "World Center of Racing" as teams prepared for the Feb. 14 Daytona 500.

He ended the day Wednesday nearly one mph faster than second-place Dale Jarrett. The two-time Daytona 500 winner was clocked at 46.841/192.139 in Robert Yates' No. 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford.

"That was a good lap for us," said Wallace, who finished fifth in last year's 'Great American Race.' "Now we've just got to come back down here and do the same on qualifying day.

"We had some really good races last season at the restrictor-plate tracks. The Daytona 500 was a good race for us last year. Right now we've got a pretty good race car, but you always want to get a little more out of it."

Twenty-four Ford teams with 42 cars were at the track over the two days as the countdown to the stock car portion of Speedweeks 1999 continued. Stock car practice begins on Feb. 3, with NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams entering the facility on Thursday, Feb. 4, to begin preparations for Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 6.

More than 20 teams from the Goody's Dash Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division, will begin a two-day test on Friday for their season-opener, the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by ACDelco Rapidfire, on Feb. 12.

After two days of testing for the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division teams on Sunday and Monday, General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams return for their final two-day session on Tuesday. More than 20 Chevrolet and Pontiac teams have already registered for the session.

Dave Marcis posted the fastest GM speed at Daytona this winter when he ran 190.488 mph in the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet.

Sophomore driver Jerry Nadeau -- who was right on Wallace's tail Tuesday -- was third-fastest during Wednesday's test at 192.082 mph, the only other driver to top 192, in the No. 9 Cartoon Network Ford.

"The first year in this business you've got to get rid of all the bugs, get out there and learn the race tracks," said Nadeau of his Melling Racing team. "At the end of last season, this team really started to come together. We've worked really hard to come here to be competitive."

The top-14 speeds Wednesday were over 190 mph. Kenny Irwin and Jeremy Mayfield rounded out the top-five drivers, but uniquely enough both were the only two pilots to have two cars among the top-10 speeds recorded Wednesday.

Mark Martin 190.759), Dick Trickle (190.686), Robert Pressley (190.577), Ted Musgrave in Butch Mock's Remington Arms Taurus (190.488), Chad Little (190.130) and Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton (190.030) rounded-out the top-12 drivers.

Admission to all test sessions at Daytona is free to the public, with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

The first weekend of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season is Feb. 6-7 with Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Bud Shootout. A special Dale Earnhardt Collectible ticket good for both days of the opening weekend is available for $55.

For ticket information call (904) 253-7223, or for additional information on Daytona International Speedway, visit www.DAYTONAUSA.com.

Source: NASCAR Online

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