Preseason Thunder: Daytona day three report

Craftsman Truck Series Wraps Up Three-Day Test Session ~ 35 Days Until The Daytona 500 ~ DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 12, 2004) - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wrapped up its three-day test session on Monday in preparation for the inaugural ...

Craftsman Truck Series Wraps Up Three-Day Test Session
~ 35 Days Until The Daytona 500 ~

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 12, 2004) - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wrapped up its three-day test session on Monday in preparation for the inaugural nighttime running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Friday night, Feb. 13.

Among the fast times posted during the Monday morning session were the Steve Grissom and Mark McFarland in the No. 59 Dodge (182.994 mph) followed by Terry Cook (182.760), Carl Edwards (182.382), Chad Chaffin (181.594) and Steadman Marlin (181.583).

Drafting practice dominated the afternoon session with the top speed coming from Jack Sprague in the No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevrolet with a lap of 187.625 followed by David Starr (186.959), Ted Musgrave (186.959), Geoff Bodine (186.815) and Frank Kimmel (186.745).

Tough competition: There's no doubt about it, the competition level in the Craftsman Truck Series will reached a new level when the season kicks off with the Florida Dodge Dealers 250.

With the return of former champions Mike Skinner and Sprague and the addition of a fourth manufacturer to the series with Toyota, victories and top-five finishes will be tough to find.

Said Matt Crafton, who'll be wheeling the No. 6 Goodwrench Chevrolet for NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick: "We were just going through the timesheet yesterday and we counted six ex-NEXTEL Cup drivers and it's not that they've gotten thrown out of NEXTEL Cup because they can't drive. They haven't had the opportunity that other NEXTEL Cup drivers have had."

The Chase is on in a truck: Chase Montgomery was participating in his first Craftsman Truck Series test at Daytona International Speedway but is familiar with the "World Center of Racing's" Gatorade Victory Lane. Montgomery, who'll compete in Bobby Hamilton Racing's No. 8 Dodge in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250, captured the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race during Speedweeks 2003.

Next up is NEXTEL Cup: The even-numbered teams in the 2003 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner's points will kick off their three-day test session on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Headlining the list of drivers expected to test are Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin, Bobby Labonte and Terry Labonte.

All test sessions during Preseason Thunder are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

The next NASCAR Preseason Thunder FanFest is scheduled for Wednesday night, Jan. 14 in the Daytona Club. Included in the $10 admission are fan forums that featured question and answer sessions between fans and drivers, DAYTONA USA's Pit Stop Challenge, show cars and a silent auction of autographed items.

All of the proceeds from FanFest benefit the Brenners Children's Hospital (in Winston-Salem, N.C.), Speediatrics, Victory Junction Gang and the Ladies Auxiliary of Stock Car Racing.

Test speeds from the third day of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 13 Florida Dodge Dealers 250:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Top speeds Monday for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Preseason Thunder test at Daytona International Speedway. <pre> 1. (59) Steve Grissom Dodge 182.994 2. (10) Terry Cook Ford 182.760 3. (99) Carl Edwards Ford 182.382 4. (4) Chad Chaffin Dodge 181.594 5. (67) Steadman Marlin Ford 181.583 6. (1) Andy Houston Dodge 181.528 7. (8) Chase Montgomery Dodge 181.426 8. (50) Jon Wood Ford 181.057 9. (08) Ken Weaver Chevrolet 180.883 10. (6) Matt Crafton Chevrolet 180.785 11. (28) L.W. Miller Chevrolet 180.278 12. (62) Steve Park Dodge 180.213 13. (38) Brandon Whitt Ford 180.144 14. (16) Jack Sprague Chevrolet 180.036 15. (17) David Reutimann Toyota 180.022 16. (88) Tracy Hines Chevrolet 179.723 17. (46) Dennis Setzer Chevrolet 179.841 18. (02) Kelly Sutton Chevrolet 179.598 19. (24) Travis Kvapil Toyota 179.236 20. (29) Frank Kimmel Ford 179.226 21. (22) Bill Lester Toyota 179.201 22. (21) Hank Parker Jr. Toyota 179.033 23. (07) Shane Sieg Chevrolet 178.735 24. (75) David Starr Chevrolet 178.472 25. (14) Rick Crawford Ford 178.366 26. (13) Tina Gordon Chevrolet 178.295 27. (23) Shelby Howard Toyota 178.284 28. (03) Geoffrey Bodine Chevrolet 178.151 29. (16) Loy Allen Chevrolet 178.056 30. (95) Wayne Edwards Ford 178.049 31. (12) Robert Huffman Toyota 177.350 32. (48) Loni Richardson Chevrolet 176.866 33. (42) Mike Skinner Toyota 176.170 34. (63) Stan Boyd Ford 175.090

Speedweeks 2004 tickets, including the Florida Dodge Dealers 250, are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Geoffrey Bodine , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Hank Parker Jr. , Sterling Marlin , Andy Houston , Ryan Newman , Ted Musgrave , Jimmie Johnson , Frank Kimmel , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Jon Wood , Chase Montgomery , Matt Crafton , Tina Gordon , Shelby Howard , Kelly Sutton , Bill Lester , Chad Chaffin , Steve Grissom , Tracy Hines , David Reutimann , Steadman Marlin , Stan Boyd , Carl Edwards , L.W. Miller , Wayne Edwards , Brandon Whitt , Ken Weaver , Shane Sieg , Mark McFarland , Robert Huffman , Loni Richardson , Travis Kvapil