FEBRUARY 9, 1998 SWAIM JR. QUICKEST IN FIRST DASH PRACTICE DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.- The 1997 NASCAR Goody's Headache Powders Dash Series Champion, Mike Swaim Jr. of High Point, N.C. returned to the Daytona ...
FEBRUARY 9, 1998
SWAIM JR. QUICKEST IN FIRST DASH PRACTICE
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.- The 1997 NASCAR Goody's Headache Powders Dash Series Champion, Mike Swaim Jr. of High Point, N.C. returned to the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla. and posted the fastest lap of the day in the first day of practice for the upcoming Discount Auto Parts "200" Presented by ACDelco Rapidfire. Fifty three of the record 61 entries took advantage of the afternoon practice session to fine tune for this Friday's event.
Swaim's 163.940 mph lap in 54.898 sec. was more than four mph faster than Donnie Neuenberger of Brandywine, Md. who piloted his Cofab Steel Pontiac around the 2.5 mile superspeedway in 56.592 sec. at an average speed of 159.033 mph. to claim the second fastest time of the day. Charles Powell III of Goose Creek, S.C. was third fastest in his Jazzy Power Chairs Pontiac at 56.711 sec. and 158.699 mph. Derrick Kelly's Discount Auto Parts Ford Probe and David Hutto's Irmo Grading Pontiac rounded out the five fastest times of the day.
The look of confidence on the faces of Swaim's Falcon Racing crew following his speedy trip around the 2.5 mile oval, quickly turned to looks of concern when just seconds after posting his time, the left front wheel assembly gave way on his Pennzoil sponsored No. 28 Pontiac Sunfire sending the young champion into a long, high speed spin. Swaim never made contact with any other vehicles or the Daytona International Speedway walls, but the incident did curtail his testing for the remainder of the day.
Swaim has owned the pole for this event since making his first appearance here in 1996. That year he became the youngest NASCAR Touring Division driver to win the pole position and went on to finish third in his very first race at the Speedway. In 1997 he repeated as the Bud Pole Award Winner and finished fifth in that event.
Today's practice session was the first public display of the six- cylinder power plants that are being phased in to competition in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. Of the 12, six-cylinder entries for the 1998 Discount Auto Parts "200" by ACDelco Rapidfire, five were able to post times that were among the top 10 fastest times of the day.
Following another short practice session tomorrow morning, the teams will decide the 1998 Bud Pole position for Friday's 200 mile race in qualification rounds starting at around 2:30 pm.