DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 20, 1999) â€“ Defending champions sent serious messages to the competition at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend as Daytonaâ€™s 1999 ARCA 200 Champion Bobby Gerhart and 1999 ARCA Bondo/MarHyde Series ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 20, 1999) – Defending champions sent serious messages to the competition at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend as Daytona’s 1999 ARCA 200 Champion Bobby Gerhart and 1999 ARCA Bondo/MarHyde Series Champion Bill Baird topped the speed charts during testing for Speedweeks 2000's Pro2Call 200.
Gerhart’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo blistered the 2.5 mile trioval at an attention grabbing 188.009 mph, while Baird, also in a Chevrolet, turned an impressive lap at 187.383 mph. Rounding out the top five were Frank Kimmel, Dan Pardus and Ron Hornaday.
The quickest lap seemed to surprise everyone in the garage area except Gerhart. "We certainly did our homework before we came here," said Gerhart. " That’s what we expected when we unloaded from the truck, and that’s the statement we want to make as defending champion here."
ARCA’s implementation of new rules designed to slow and stabilize the cars left many crew members shaking their heads. The key to going fast for some was the intangible called experience.
"We’ve always run well at Daytona," said Baird. "I’ve sat on the pole here, turned a lot of laps at this place, so when we come back here in 2000 we’ll unload prepared to win."
Pardus had similar thoughts. "We’re top five on the speed charts," he pointed out. "At Daytona you don’t necessarily have to qualify on the pole to be competitive in a race situation. This car drafts well and drives comfortably and we’re going to get a few more tenths out of it before February."
Of the 34 ARCA Bondo/MarHyde teams testing at Daytona, the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet Monte Carlo was getting the most attention. Driver Kerry Earnhardt turned in a top ten speed of 184.805 mph.
The Pro2Call 200 Presented by ACDelco and Discount Auto Parts takes the green flag at the "World Center Of Racing" on February 13, 2000, at 1:15 p.m. Tickets for this and other Speedweeks events are available by calling (904) 253-7223.