Quick Crawford paces Daytona truck test By Dave Rodman
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 14, 1999) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veteran Rick Crawford turned the fastest lap Tuesday on the opening day of a two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for February's inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250 at the "World Center of Racing." Crawford was electronically timed at 48.376 seconds, an average speed of 186.043 mph, in his No. 14 Milwaukee Power Tool Ford F-150. Ford drivers posted the three quickest laps among the 27 drivers who posted times Tuesday.
"(Crew chief) Mike Cheek is really doing a great job with our Milwaukee Power Tool Ford and I think it shows in our speed," said Crawford, who won the 1998 Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Crawford has previous experience at Daytona after attempting to qualify for the 1993 Daytona 500.
Mike Wallace, driving the No. 2 Team ASE Ford, was clocked at 48.738 seconds, 184.661 mph; while Doug George, driving the No. 66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford, was at 48.874/184.147.
Dennis Setzer was fourth quickest and the fastest Dodge in the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Ram, at 49.012.183.628. Rob Morgan in the Acxiom/Compaq Ford was fifth-best at 49.103/183.288. NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division regular Lyndon Amick drove Ken Schrader's Chevrolet and was the fastest Silverado at 49.370/182.297.
Joe Ruttman, Rick Ware, Andy Houston and Mike Cope rounded out the top-10 speeds for the day. Defending and two-time NCTS champion Jack Sprague was 11th-fastest at 180.948 mph in his GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet.
Former USAC open-wheel driver Randy Tolsma was in mid-pack at 180.108 mph in his Supergard Motor Oil Dodge, but he pretty much summed-up the first day's reaction to the track after teams got out on the 2.5-mile speedway at mid-morning.
"Right now on the race track the trucks are doing good," Tolsma said. "We're just trying to figure out all that we need to know. I'm pretty much a rookie here and really with all the superspeedway stuff.
"We brought a pretty basic package here, to find out what we need - what gear, what exhaust system - you know, what does what? We'll come back better prepared for the next test (in January) and for the race. We're not looking for a lot of speed yet, but we expect that's when the surprises might come."
No on-track incidents marred the day's activities. Houston's blown engine in the CAT Rental Stores Chevrolet was the only mishap of the day.
The test session is scheduled to conclude Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open to the public at no charge with access through DAYTONA USA.