Montgomery in the chase at Daytona during first test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 15, 2001) -- Chase Montgomery is passing his first test at Daytona International Speedway with flying colors. Chase Montgomery. Photo: dis For the second straight day, the 18-year-old native of Mt.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 15, 2001) -- Chase Montgomery is passing his first test at Daytona International Speedway with flying colors.


Chase Montgomery. Photo: dis

For the second straight day, the 18-year-old native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., posted the fastest non-drafting lap speed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Discount Auto Parts 200 on Feb. 10.

The 18-year-old native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., posted a non-drafting lap speed of 182.852 mph and was fourth fastest among cars that participated in the late afternoon drafting session with a lap of 182.352.

Montgomery hopes he can be just as fortunate in his final exam in economics that he'll take on Monday as he has been in testing at Daytona.

"I've got to fly back Sunday and take my last exam on Monday and then I'm out of high school for good," Montgomery said.

Montgomery is quickly opening some eyes in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. He drove a limited ARCA schedule last year for Montgomery Motorsports, owned by his father Ray. In six starts, he posted one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes and qualified on the outside pole for two races.

In 2002, he'll race the entire schedule and campaign for Rookie of the Year honors. He'll kick off his season with the Discount Auto Parts 200 At Daytona, 80-lap race on the same day as the 23rd annual Budweiser Shootout At Daytona.

Chase Montgomery's father Ray pieced together the entire operation, purchasing some Chevrolets from Andy Petree Racing and Bobby Hamilton Racing and building another car in-house.

The Pontiac that Montgomery is testing at Daytona and plans to run in February during Speedweeks belonged to MBV Motorsports, which fields the No. 10 machines for Johnny Benson in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

"All of our equipment is good," Montgomery said. "We have to have top notch equipment. You can't come out here with bad equipment. You can't cut corners at this level. To win, you have to have the best. So many other people out here have good equipment."

Montgomery is thankful for his father's support of his lifelong dream to become a professional race car driver.

"He bought my go-karts, bought my four-cylinders, my late models and I'm glad I could talk him into these (ARCA cars)," Montgomery said.

Another part of Montgomery's dreams when he was growing up was racing at the famed high banks of Daytona International Speedway. That dream came true in this test session. Now, he wants to win at the "World Center of Racing."

"It would mean a whole lot (to win here)," Montgomery said. "Four years ago I was racing four-cylinders at a quarter-mile track in Springfield, Tenn. Today, I'm running basically a Winston Cup car at Daytona International Speedway at 180 mph. It's a big difference. I've dreamed racing at Daytona all my life. I've always wanted to win at Daytona. The atmosphere and the history means a lot."

The test session was important Montgomery. He says the real challenge to taming Daytona International Speedway in February will be learning the ins and outs of the draft.

"I've never been really in a situation where I've had to draft," Montgomery said. "I don't know if it will be as big a problem as I think it will be. It's definitely going to be something else I've got learn. Just give me a few laps and I hope I can figure it out. If not, I'll be at the back of the pack and that's not where I want to be."

ARCA RE/MAX Series test will conclude on Sunday. The test is free to the public with access to a section of the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.

Tickets for the Discount Auto Parts 200 and other Speedweeks 2002 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

(A JPEG of Montgomery is available upon reply to this e-mail)

Top Five Test Times (Non-Drafting Laps)
1. Chase Montgomery, Pontiac, 182.852 mph
2. Casey Mears, Pontiac, 181.962
3. Jason Jarrett, Pontiac, 181.550
4. Mark Gibson, Chevrolet, 180.563
5. Bobby Gerhart, Pontiac, 180.303

Top Five Test Times (Drafting Laps)
1. Nate Monteith, Pontiac, 182.775 mph
2. Shelby Howard, Pontiac, 182.763
3. Jason Jarrett, Pontiac, 182.637
4. Chase Montgomery, Pontiac, 182.352
5. Casey Mears, Pontiac, 182.197

-DIS-

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Casey Mears , Johnny Benson , Chase Montgomery , Bobby Gerhart , Jason Jarrett , Shelby Howard , Mark Gibson , Andy Petree