FORD TESTING ENDS AT DAYTONA 1-18-95 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Jarrett drove to the fastest lap in January's NASCAR Winston Cup testing at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday as Ford teams concluded their final session in preparation for...
FORD TESTING ENDS AT DAYTONA 1-18-95
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Jarrett drove to the fastest lap in January's NASCAR Winston Cup testing at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday as Ford teams concluded their final session in preparation for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500.
Jarrett was clocked at 192.555 mph in Robert Yates' Thunderbird. Jarrett, the 1993 Daytona 500 winner who will make his debut in the car that won the '92 500 in Busch Pole Award Qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 11, was in the fastest Ford on six of the seven days the T-birds tested.
On Wednesday, other fast laps were recorded by Rusty Wallace, 191.898; and Phil Parsons, 191.652 in the TriStar Motorsports Ford. The track will be silent on Thursday before NASCAR Busch Series teams begin a three-day test on Friday.
General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup teams begin the final three- day test session for Winston Cup cars on Monday, Jan. 23.
While Jarrett was displaying a wide grin most days he showed up to work at the 2.5-mile Speedway, Wallace was particularly pleased at the conclusion of the test.
"The car is awesome -- a bullet," he said, pointing to one of two Thunderbirds in the Penske South garage stall. "It's the best car I've ever had here..."
Better than the one he destroyed in a backstretch wreck in a recent Daytona 500 -- a car he raved over and was charging to the front in at the time?
"The best car I've EVER had here," he repeated, citing evidence provided by Penske stablemate, defending PPG IndyCar champion Al Unser Jr. "Both Al and I swapped off in it, and he couldn't believe how good the car was. I told the crew, 'don't touch it.' We're just going to paint it and decal it up."
"Now the Busch Clash car -- that one we'll have to cut the body off it," he said, with a shrug. "That's testing, I guess. That's how we find these things out."
Another thing Wallace, and everyone else has found, is that across the board, the cars are quicker this winter. A 100-pound weight drop is one reason, but Wallace said there's more to it than that.
"We've just had another year to work on these things," he said, shaking his head in affirmation to the mechanical genius of the Winston Cup Series' crews. "And, everybody puts a lot of effort into Daytona."
Elsewhere in the garage area, Bill Ingle was back at work, doing what he does best -- as crew chief of a NASCAR Winston Cup team. Ingle, after a two-year self-imposed retirement from the sport, has his hands on the reins of Ricky Rudd's #10 Tide Ford, and is ready to begin his second season in the position.
"I needed the time off," explained Ingle. "I needed to get mentally prepared again. It feels good to be back."
Ingle was hired to help Rudd realize his dream of becoming a successful team owner/driver with an organization starting from page one.
"In today's racing, the right crew chief is extremely important," said Rudd. "He has to know the car and everything, but he also has to be an organization man in order to build a team which can be successful. Bill was ready to come back. I think his organizational skills and team leadership roles really show."
"We were optimistically targeting a top-10 finish in the points," continued Rudd, describing his inaugural 1994 program. "We ended up finishing fifth. We won a race at New Hampshire and a pole at Rockingham. We won the Sears DieHard Racer Award for most miles completed. It's hard to believe we could accomplish all of that as a start-up team."
"I started out with a plan," noted Ingle. "We didn't worry about what any other team was doing. We worried only about what we were doing. We focused, as a team, on the goal of doing the best we could. We worked totally as a team -- I have good chemistry with the other members and Ricky and I have a good chemistry as crew chief and driver. We'll build on that for our second season."
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The fastest laps* recorded in pre- season Ford NASCAR Winston Cup stock car testing Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway, listing driver/car #, time in seconds and speed in miles-per-hour:
Dale Jarrett/28 46.74 192.555 Rusty Wallace/2 46.90 191.898 Phil Parsons/19 46.96 191.652 Mike Wallace/90 47.10 191.023 Geoff Bodine/7 47.10 191.023 Ken Bouchard/67 47.17 190.799 Steve Kinser/26 47.20 190.678 Rick Mast/1 47.22 190.597 Kenny Wallace/81 47.30 190.275 Ricky Rudd/10 47.37 189.994 Joe Ruttman/80 47.39 189.913 Dick Trickle/15 47.43 189.753 Todd Bodine/75 47.50 189.474 Derrike Cope/12 47.53 189.354 Brett Bodine/11 47.59 189.115 Tim Fedewa/55 47.60 189.076 Jimmy Spencer/23 47.62 188.996 Bill Elliott/94 47.62 188.996 Davy Jones/77 47.65 188.877 Jeremy Mayfield/98 47.65 188.877 Jeff Burton/8 47.66 188.838 Ritchie Petty/53 47.80 188.285 Mark Stahl/82 47.97 187.617 Bobby Hillin/20 47.98 187.578 Gary Bradberry/52 48.15 186.916 Phil Barkdoll/73 48.15 186.916 Chad Little/97 48.28 186.413 Shawna Robinson/99 48.28 186.413 John Andretti/37 48.31 186.297
*Randomly hand-timed and from various sources /