ARCA TEAMS OPEN STOCK CAR TEST SEASON AT DAYTONA Daytona International Speedway -- Friday, Dec. 15 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Seventeen ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series teams took advantage of comfortable, sunny skies as the 1996 pre-season...
ARCA TEAMS OPEN STOCK CAR TEST SEASON AT DAYTONA Daytona International Speedway -- Friday, Dec. 15
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Seventeen ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series teams took advantage of comfortable, sunny skies as the 1996 pre-season stock car testing season opened Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
Randal Ritter, driving an ex-Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, and '95 ARCA co-rookie of the year Harris DeVane each cracked the 190 mph barrier as teams posted a wide range of speeds in preparation for the Feb. 11 ARCA 200.
Ritter was clocked at 190.597 mph in a former Terry Labonte Monte Carlo. DeVane logged a 190.275 mph lap in his Ford Thunderbird.
The teams on hand were a good cross section of veterans and newcomers. Midwest dirt track ace Bob Hill, a winner on the '95 Supercar Series, ran 189.155 in another Chevy Monte Carlo.
Defending Series champion and Daytona ARCA 200 winner Andy Hillenburg was back with Schrader Racing, the team with which he won here in '95, but was looking forward to a full season in Schrader's AC-Delco Monte Carlo after running the balance of '95 in his own cars. Hillenburg cut a fourth-quickest 188.877 lap under crew chief Tim Kohuth's guidance.
Among the other teams on hand, Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR SuperTruck Series By Craftsman championship team looked to be mounting a serious R&D effort as team manager Will Lind and crew chief Rich Burgess, along with NASCAR Winston Cup engineer/shop foreman Bobby Hutchens were all on hand along with driver Mike Skinner. The "camouflage" Monte Carlo was clocked at 186.955.
The second of three days of ARCA testing will continues Saturday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through the Visitors' Center. Guided tours will also be available.
NOTES: Former NASCAR Winston Cup regular Bobby Wawak bolstered Ritter's effort ... Rob Smith was on hand with a former Precision Products Racing/Rick Mast Ford Thunderbird that still carried the Skoal Racing colors and decals ... Daytona Beach native Mark Gibson, who posted a top 10 Supercar Series point finish in '95 despite horrendous luck, was on hand with a SuperTruck he had constructed in his Auburn, Ga., shop for delivery to a Florida customer ... Former Supercar Series champion Bob Dotter was at Daytona assisting former IMSA road racer and current ARCA competitor Dale Kreider while also getting some seat time in Kreider's Lumina and, reportedly, Wally Finney's Olds Cutlass ... will '96 mark another plateau for ARCA -- two-thirds of the Chevies at Daytona were Monte Carlos ... Orr's Ridling Motorsports team had a "simulator" on hand, a full size car-on-wheels with Sega computer equipment on-board.
ARCA TEST SPEEDS* NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 31 Randal Ritter/Monte Carlo 47.22 secs 190.597 mph 33 Harris DeVane/Thunderbird 47.30 190.275 46 Bob Hill/Monte Carlo 47.58 189.155 52 Andy Hillenburg/Monte Carlo 47.65 188.877 16 Tim Steele/Thunderbird 47.89 187.931 97 Shane Doles/Grand Prix 47.93 187.774 3 Mike Skinner/Monte Carlo 48.14 186.955 88 Pete Orr/Monte Carlo 48.59 185.223 56 Dill Whittymore/Lumina 48.66 184.957 1 Rob Smith/Thunderbird 49.43 182.076 15 Dale Kreider/Lumina 49.60 181.452 26 Blaise Alexander/Monte Carlo 49.67 181.196 6 Perry Tripp/Monte Carlo 49.85 180.542 50 Jerry Hill/Monte Carlo 52.45 171.592 88 Wally Finney/Cutlass 52.84 170.326 24 Jerry Marmack/Lumina 54.32 165.685 28 C.W. Smith/Lumina 54.95 163.785 * = Randomly hand-timed and from various sources.