LaJoie paces Tuesday test at Daytona By Dave Rodman DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2000) Defending NAPA Auto Parts 300 winner Randy LaJoie posted the fastest speed Tuesday as NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division teams opened a two-day test...
LaJoie paces Tuesday test at Daytona By Dave Rodman
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2000) Defending NAPA Auto Parts 300 winner Randy LaJoie posted the fastest speed Tuesday as NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division teams opened a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 19 NBS season opener. LaJoie consistently was the quickest driver among the 33 teams at the test as he exercised a pair of Phoenix Racing's Bob Evans Restaurants Chevrolets. After rain delayed the opening of the test Monday, LaJoie responded with a lap of 48.435 seconds, an average speed of 185.816 mph.
The teams, which used a total of 42 cars on the day, endured temperatures in the mid-50s but were blessed with mostly sunny skies.
At Talladega Superspeedway, another group of NASCAR Busch Series drivers that included two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday; Cicci-Welliver Racing drivers Todd Bodine, David Green and Tim Fedewa as well as the Brewco Motorsports triumvirate of Casey Atwood, Kevin Grubb and Glenn Allen closed a two-day test. Another group of teams is expected at Talladega beginning Wednesday.
At Daytona, a mixture of veterans and rookies rounded out the top of the speed chart Tuesday. Bobby Hillin's Chevrolet debuted his Kleenex sponsorship with a lap in 48.483 seconds/185.632 mph; Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Harvick was at 48.618/185.117 in the ACDelco Chevrolet; NASCAR Busch Series prodigal Buckshot Jones logged-in at 48.680/184.881; and 1999 rookie candidate Andy Kirby was at 48.689/184.847 in the Mark III Financial Chevrolet.
LaJoie actually had two of the top-5 speeds overall. His second car was clocked at 48.688/184.850.
Sixth quickest Tuesday was Jack Sprague, who opened a limited schedule in Andy Petree's No. 15 Chevrolet with a lap of 184.725 mph. Ken Schrader won the 1999 Bud Pole Award for the NAPA Auto Parts 300 in that car with a lap of 47.402 seconds, an average speed of 189.865 mph. There is a totally different technical package in place for NASCAR 2000 that has resulted in slower speeds.
Rounding out the top-10 speeds were rookie Mike Borkowski (184.699) in a Pontiac, series newcomer Jay Sauter (184.627) in a Chevrolet, Mike Dillon in Richard Childress' No. 21 Chevrolet (184.608) and Kenny Irwin in one of three Team SABCO Chevrolets that tested (184.256).
Hank Parker Jr. became the first driver in the winter test period to damage a car in an accident when an apparent mechanical failure caused him to lose control between Turns 3 and 4 and hit the wall with the right side of the No. 53 Team Marines Chevrolet. The team had a second car on hand to continue testing.
"Something broke up there in the right front," Parker said in explaining the wreck. "It was kind of like a roller coaster ride after that."
The NASCAR Busch Series test session is scheduled to conclude Wednesday. A section of Daytona's Oldfield Grandstand will be open at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through the DAYTONA USA lobby.