Daytona test report 2003-01-19

NASCAR Goody's Dash Series testing wraps up at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 19, 2003) -- The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series wrapped up its two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 9 NASCAR Goody's...

NASCAR Goody's Dash Series testing wraps up at Daytona.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 19, 2003) -- The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series wrapped up its two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 9 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 during Speedweeks 2003.

Kelly Sutton, driving the No. 02 Team Copaxone Pontiac, posted the fastest speed in the morning non-drafting session with a lap of 163.705 mph around the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval.

"We're extremely excited," Sutton said. "We're just working on our qualifying setup. We just set the fastest time. We're on cloud nine. We're excited to come back here in February and hopefully put this thing on the pole for the race."

Sutton was followed on the morning speed chart by her fellow NASCAR Goody's Dash Series female competitor Angie Wilson, who posted a speed of 163.509.

Justin and Jake Hobgood posted the fastest speeds in the afternoon session where drafting was permitted. Justin Hobgood, had the fastest speed with a lap of 165.847 while brother Jake, the 2002 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion, turned a lap of 165.831.

The 31-year-old Sutton, who finished 12th in the 2002 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series championship standings and third in the rookie standings, is a third generation racer from Crownsville, Md.

She was diagnosed in 1988 with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Her sponsor, Copaxone, is drug that reduces the relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Certainly after the successful test, Sutton will be one of the favorites entering the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 on Feb. 9.

"That would be awesome (to win at Daytona)," Sutton said. "I think everybody comes here to win. That's definitely the goal."

Going for three in a row at Daytona: Robert Huffman, driver of the No. 37 White House Apple Juice Toyota, will be shooting for three straight NASCAR Goody's Dash Series victory at Daytona on Feb. 9. Huffman captured the DAYTONAUSA.com 150 in July, 2001 and last year's NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150.

Huffman, whose only other Daytona win came in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 in 2000, is always considered a threat to win at Daytona.

"I've run second many times before I ever won a race (at Daytona)," said Huffman, who has made 11 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 starts. "We naturally feel our shot to win is good or we wouldn't come. We'll see how our cards play out at the end of the race."

Huffman will race the same Toyota that drove him to victory in the last two races at Daytona. He has not been fast in qualifying setup during testing, but expects the car to be strong in race setup.

"We're OK," Huffman said. "We're not as good as we would like. We'll race all right. We won't qualify real well. That's what has always happen in the past down here. I've never really qualified that well ever since I've been coming. It's no big deal."

York going on 25: Mickey York has the distinction of being the only driver to have competed in every NASCAR Goody's Dash Series race held at Daytona International Speedway. On Feb. 9, York will make his 25th consecutive start in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150.

"I feel like it's something pretty special, at least to me," York said. "It might be that and a dollar that might get you a cup of coffee somewhere."

The first NASCAR Goody's Dash Series race held at Daytona International Speedway was in 1979.

York, whose best finish at Daytona was a second in 1989, was 12th fastest on Sunday morning (159.784 mph) in the No. 24 Pontiac and should have no problems qualifying for the race. He also plans on fielding a second Pontiac for rookie driver Jason York, no relation, in the race.

"Fortunately, I'm healthy," said the 55-year-old Mickey York of Asheboro, N.C. "I've got a pretty good car. We'll see if we can qualify for this one. If we qualify for it, we'll start it and that's something I don't think anybody else can say about Daytona. It's just something that we want to do."

When They Run: The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 will be held on Feb. 9, prior to Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500. The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 will go green at 11 a.m. for a 60-lap, 150-mile race and will be followed by Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 at 1:15 p.m.

On tap: Next up in NASCAR Preseason Thunder is NASCAR Busch Series testing in preparation for the season-opening Koolerz 300 on Feb. 15. The odd NASCAR Busch Series teams in the owner's points standings will test at the Speedway on Jan. 20-21 followed by the even teams on Jan. 23-24.

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