Daytona Gordon and Purvis testing

Purvis posts hot lap in Pepsi 400 test at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 26) -- Jeff Purvis upped his best lap at Daytona International Speedway to more than 187 mph Wednesday as he and Ricky Craven completed a two-day test in preparation...

Purvis posts hot lap in Pepsi 400 test at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 26) -- Jeff Purvis upped his best lap at Daytona International Speedway to more than 187 mph Wednesday as he and Ricky Craven completed a two-day test in preparation for the July 6 Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race.

Purvis circled the 2.5-mile trioval in 48.10 seconds, an average speed of 187.110 mph, in the Phoenix Racing/MCA Records Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Craven was unofficially clocked at 48.50, 185.567 mph, in the new Kodiak Monte Carlo assembled for the Pepsi 400 by Hedrick Motorsports.

The Speedway will now be quiet until practice for the 38th Pepsi 400 opens July 4 at 10:30 a.m.

"We're still looking for more speed but we made a lot of progress with the new car and our back-up was real close to the new car, also," said Craven, who noted that he was "98 percent" recovered from the injuries he suffered in a horrific crash in the Winston Select 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. "When I'm in my element -- in the race car -- I don't have any problem concentrating and doing the job. Where it bothers me is at night, and trying to sleep. Being over-tired is the biggest thing I've had to overcome.

"We've bounced back from Talladega pretty well. We qualified on the front row at Charlotte and qualified well at Pocono. We just need to get some luck on our side so we can get some finishes that reflect that. If we can get through the Pepsi 400 with a strong run that'll be a great start to the second half of the season.

"We are going to have to build a new car for the Busch Clash and we had all our data acquisition systems hooked-up on the new car to retrieve that data. We feel like we got an awful lot accomplished with that.

"We needed to come here because our superspeedway program has been the real hole in our program so far. In order to be a true championship contender you have got to have all those gaps filled-in."

Several elements of the DAYTONA USA complex will continue to be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including the Fourth Turn Grill, Pit Shop souvenir and gift shop and the Sega Speedway arcade. Guided Speedway Tours are also offered from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. DAYTONA USA's grand opening will be July 5 at 8 a.m..

The Grand Opening Gala for DAYTONA USA will be July 4 from 7-10 p.m.

Both teams were handicapped to a certain degree by mid-90 degree temperatures and a 45 degree minimum spoiler angle mandated by NASCAR and announced at the Miller 400 drivers' meeting in Michigan.

Purvis ran the car that was the team's back-up for the Daytona 500 and at Talladega. Crew chief Marc Reno felt like it might be a better car for the hot weather. The car that was wrecked at Talladega has been rebuilt but the team hasn't had a chance to shake it down yet.

Phoenix Racing had not originally planned to do the Pepsi 400 but Reno said they ran so well at Talladega they didn't want to miss the Pepsi 400. The team will split its crew for the July 6 weekend. Reno and the team's engine builder will come to Daytona with Purvis, who will fly to Milwaukee immediately following the Pepsi 400. BGN crew chief Johnny Allen and the full-time Busch crew will be in Milwaukee, where Joe Ruttman will practice and qualify the Busch Series car.

Craven had two cars on hand -- the Talladega/Daytona back-up and a brand-new car that turned a wheel for the first time Tuesday. Craven said they took care of the "time-consuming and painful running-in process" Tuesday.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven , Jeff Purvis
Teams Phoenix Racing