Daytona testing notes 96-01-24

MAYFIELD RECORDS FASTEST SPEED AS FORD TEAMS OPEN FINAL TEST AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 22) -- Jeremy Mayfield, entering his second full season with Cale Yarborough Motorsports, posted the fastest time of 21 Ford NASCAR Winston Cup...

MAYFIELD RECORDS FASTEST SPEED AS FORD TEAMS OPEN FINAL TEST AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 22) -- Jeremy Mayfield, entering his second full season with Cale Yarborough Motorsports, posted the fastest time of 21 Ford NASCAR Winston Cup stock car teams that opened the final scheduled pre-season testing session Monday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Mayfield was clocked at 48.237 seconds, an average speed of 186.579 mph, in one of two Ford Thunderbirds that he drove on the day. For the first time since 1985 driver Michael Waltrip finds himself with a new team, the Wood Brothers, and in a new car, a Ford Thunderbird. Waltrip spent his first 11 NASCAR Winston Cup seasons with Bahari Racing. "It's different and it's great. They've (Woods) got a great team. We've had a good time over the winter just getting ready to go racing. The guys at the shop have worked hard because we've been competitive right off the truck. We're not as fast as some of those (General Motors) teams who were here testing earlier in the month, but we're pretty good. "This is only the second team I've ever been with. The first team I was with for 11 seasons and it's been 15 years since I raced a Ford. My first race car back home in (Owensboro) Kentucky when I was 17 was a Mercury Capri. I won six races at Kentucky Motor Speedway in it and the Mini-Modified track championship that year. It was 1981, the year I graduated from high school. I haven't driven one (Ford) since. Maybe that's what I've been missing." FORD TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 22* NO DRIVER/CAR SPEED 98 Jeremy Mayfield/Ford 186.579 mph 37 John Andretti/Ford 185.452 21 Michael Waltrip/Ford 185.300 16 Ted Musgrave/Ford 185.258 12 Derrike Cope/Ford 184.392 15 Wally Dallenbach/Ford 184.075 10 Ricky Rudd/Ford 184.057 7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 184.049 9 Lake Speed/Ford 183.985 23 Jimmy Spencer/Ford 183.685 2 Rusty Wallace/Ford 183.318 99 Jeff Burton/Ford 183.284 6 Mark Martin/Ford 183.128 27 Elton Sawyer/Ford 182.793 19 Loy Allen/Ford 181.976 90 Mike Wallace/Ford 181.291 11 Brett Bodine/Ford 181.014 77 Bobby Hillin/Ford 180.274 95 Chuck Bown/Ford 179.878 81 Kenny Wallace/Ford 179.756 8 Hut Stricklin/Ford 178.532 60** Mark Martin/Ford 182.778 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day. ** NASCAR Busch Series car MAYFIELD RECORDS THIRD-FASTEST SPEED OF WINTER IN SECOND DAY OF FORD TEST AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23) -- Jeremy Mayfield, who has been the fastest Ford driver of the winter at NASCAR's two largest speedways, Tuesday continued that trend with the fastest lap in Ford NASCAR Winston Cup stock car testing at Daytona International Speedway while preparing for the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Mayfield was clocked at 47.877 seconds, an average speed of 187.982 mph, in one of two Ford Thunderbirds that he drove on the day. "Things are really coming together for the car and the team," said Mayfield. "We've been really good since we rolled off the trailer. The team worked really hard over the winter and even at the end of last year on the new motor combination so we really have a lot of work in our cars. "We look forward to coming back to Daytona. In fact, I wish it was race week right now. We've been running fast, but we've also been running legal. We've been through tech inspection three or four times. We've also had NASCAR come over and check the motor and the restrictor plates. We made sure everything we did was right." "I'm looking forward to the best year Jeremy Mayfield has had since he's gotten into Winston Cup racing. Our goal is to finish the year in the top 15 in points and get as many top five and top 10 finishes as we can. We're looking toward the long term and building for the future." FORD TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 23* NO DRIVER/CAR SPEED 98 Jeremy Mayfield/Ford 187.982 mph 21 Michael Waltrip/Ford 187.293 6 Mark Martin/Ford 186.978 23 Jimmy Spencer/Ford 186.397 15 Wally Dallenbach/Ford 185.989 16 Ted Musgrave/Ford 185.552 12 Derrike Cope/Ford 185.510 99 Jeff Burton/Ford 185.296 37 John Andretti/Ford 185.132 2 Rusty Wallace/Ford 184.983 10 Ricky Rudd/Ford 184.907 81 Kenny Wallace 184.619 9 Lake Speed/Ford 184.600 7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 184.373 19 Loy Allen/Ford 184.223 77 Bobby Hillin/Ford 184.139 27 Elton Sawyer/Ford 183.688 90 Mike Wallace/Ford 183.673 11 Brett Bodine/Ford 182.515 95 Chuck Bown/Ford 181.382 8 Hut Stricklin/Ford 181.072 65 Steve Seligman/Ford 180.169 60**Mark Martin/Ford 183.180 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day. ** NASCAR Busch Series car MICKEY YORK FASTEST IN GOODY'S DASH TESTING AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 20) -- Mickey York turned in the fastest lap among the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series teams that were at Daytona International Speedway Saturday during the first of a two-day test session, Jan. 20-21, in preparation for the Feb. 16 Florida 200. York, a veteran of 16 Florida 200's, posted the fastest time of the day in his Pontiac Grand-Am. York posted a quick lap of 55.806 seconds, an average speed of 161.273 mph. TOP 10 NASCAR GOODY'S DASH SERIES TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 20* NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 24 Mickey York/Pontiac 55.806 161.273 28 Mike Swaim Jr./Pontiac 55.901 160.999 65 Will Hobgood/Pontiac 56.092 160.451 33 Lyndon Amick/Pontiac 56.185 160.185 15 Jake Hobgood/Pontiac 56.338 159.750 11 B.J. Mackey/Chevrolet 56.613 158.974 12 Edward Howell/Dodge 56.824 158.384 42 Dan Pardus/Pontiac 57.021 157.837 07 George Crenshaw/Pontiac 57.578 156.310 21 Mike Swaim Sr./Dodge 57.623 156.188 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day. MIKE SWAIM JR. FASTEST AS DAYTONA GOODY'S DASH CONCLUDES DAYTONA BEACH< Fla. (Jan. 21) -- Mike Swaim Jr., son of the four-time Florida 200 winner, turned in the fastest lap among the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series teams that were at Daytona International Speedway Sunday during the final day of a two-day test session, Jan. 20-21, in preparation for the Feb. 16 Florida 200. Swaim posted the fastest time of the day and of the test session in his 1996 Pontiac Sunfire, a quick lap of 55.641 seconds, an average speed of 161.751 mph. TOP 10 NASCAR GOODY'S DASH SERIES TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 21* NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 28 Mike Swaim Jr./Pontiac 55.641 161.751 12 Edward Howell/Dodge 55.839 161.178 11 B.J. Mackey/Chevrolet 55.887 161.039 15 Jake Hobgood/Pontiac 56.055 160.557 15 Mickey York/Pontiac 56.246 160.011 65 Will Hobgood/Pontiac 56.494 159.309 42 Dan Pardus/Pontiac 56.578 159.072 5 Ricky Briant/Pontiac 56.940 158.061 21 Mike Swaim Sr./Dodge 57.017 157.848 07 George Crenshaw/Pontiac 57.364 156.893 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day.

FORD NASCAR WINSTON CUP NOTES MARK MARTIN (#6 Valvoline Ford) -- (On his outlook) I'm hard-headed enough to feel like that whatever the GM cars have and what we have, what the Ford has, doesn't have any bearing on whether or not we will win the championship. I feel that is more controlled by your destiny in broken parts, accidents which you can't avoid and that kind of thing. I think if it's your season to win the championship then you will win it regardless of the GM-Pontiac-Ford issue. That doesn't worry me, but winning races does. I want to win as many races as I possibly can because that's what keeps me my job. I want to be able to produce. Last year was a fantastic year. I'm just in awe of the Roush team and the job they did and the kind of performance we had on the race track under the conditions we were under. All I pray for was to be able to do well again. I pray that we can come back and have another year like we did last year. I don't know what everybody else does, but the thought of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon has never crossed my mind. I mean I'm thinking about our stuff and not their stuff. We're concentrating on trying to get the most out of our team and being a step ahead of our competition. At the same time, it's absolutely right that those guys are going to be the two main contenders along with whoever else. Looking into '96 we've got to do the best we can with what we've got. (On Daytona) Do we invest so much in Daytona that we lose sight of the rest of the big picture? Man, I think that's the case on everybody's part. When the dust settles on the (Daytona) 500 nobody's very ready to do anything else at that point. I think one of the things which helped us last year is that we decided to take what we could get at Daytona -- whatever -- and it turned out a third and fourth place finish for Ted (Musgrave) and I. We didn't throw the year to the wolves. We tried to get ready for the rest of the season. I think that the testing is just totally outrageous -- the amount of testing that goes into these races. Some people test two and three times before Daytona. I think that's too much time spent at the racetrack doing the same thing over and over again. Why not stay home and produce Rockingham and Richmond and Atlanta cars that are awesome? That's what our race team tries to do is be ready. We go through the motions and check our stuff. All we really find is, in restrictor plate racing, that we can stay the same or slow down. So, when you're faced with that for two or three years then you begin to have a lot of confidence in what you're doing and you can go test for two or three days and you're ready for Daytona. We've done our best thing and been to the wind tunnel once or twice and we've been to the race track one time, hopefully with our best stuff and our best program. We've checked all our stuff and that's all we're going to get out of it. DERRIKE COPE (#12 Straight Arrow Ford) -- I'm looking for a lot of good things from this coming season. We definitely ran well at the end of last year and carried that momentum into the off-season. We've built some brand new race cars. We've been to the wind tunnel. The new car we're running showed good in the tunnel tests and is running good here. We haven't run it with a qualifying package on it yet, but we'll try that at some point to see where we stack up. I'm guardedly optimistic about the Daytona 500. I think, from what feedback I'm getting here, that we can come back and be a factor. We typically get to a point where we run well, but just don't have enough to get to the front. Maybe this year we might have enough to stick our nose in there and dance with the rest at the end of the race. I would say last season was very satisfying. I think it reinforced a lot of the beliefs I had in myself and in this team. I've gained enormous respect for this team. I think my career is headed in a good direction right now. What we've got to do is to keep the funding, the sponsorship there. If we don't we won't be able to continue to do the things we've implemented so far. BRETT BODINE (#11 Lowe's Ford) -- (In his first days at a race track as team owner and driver) You're never where you want to be in testing. We want to be the fastest car down here and all that good stuff, but that rarely happens right out of the gate. We've been making good progress and we're continuing to progress. I was a bit frustrated after the first day because we didn't really accomplish what I thought we should have. Then I stepped back a bit and understood that this was our first test session of the year and it was our first time at the track together as a team. I had to settle back and realize that things are going to get better. I feel good about the situation and I feel great about the fact we're in control and that things are going to go the way we want them to go. The car that we ran in Monday's test was an old car which I ran here for Junior in last year's Pepsi 400. The quickest car so far is the new car, which we built from the ground up. Our engines this year will come from Mark Smith at TriStar. RUSTY WALLACE (#2 Miller Ford) -- (On Daytona) We're working on our program. I've said that three years in a row. Actually, I've been pretty happy with our qualifying and the finishes in the 125's. I've started the Daytona 500 no worse than seventh in the last two years so we're doing pretty good. It's the dang accidents I'm getting myself into is a real bad deal. I still say that our performance isn't bad, it's just we've had some rotten luck. The chassis setup we've had hasn't been the best. We'll start the race real hot and run good in the 125 and get into the 500. In the race we'll get loose or get pushing and I'll start fading back. Then, before I can sit there and work it out -- like I do at every other race track -- I've gotten collected up in a wreck somehow. This team, myself and Roger Penske have all sat down and we're convinced that our luck at these two tracks -- Daytona and Talladega -- have cost us has cost us the title two years in a row. Look at last year. What we did at the end of the year was incredible. We're putting an extra effort into Daytona and Talladega. We've got to qualify good, we've got to race good. We're trying everything. I see our strength coming back, absolutely. After I won those eight races in '94 in my first year with Ford I felt that we were really going to do it again in 95. We way underestimated the strength of the Chevrolets at the beginning of the season. Then, about halfway through the season when the rules got closer we started laying the numbers back on the board again. We know where they're at and we know where we're at so I think we'll have a better year this years. I hope the rules will help us at the other race tracks. Here at Daytona we have run these cars to death in the wind tunnel and we can't see plus or minus more than two or three counts of drag between this year's car and last year's car. I've got both cars here and they're running exactly the same dang speed. So, nothing has really happened. If you see a quicker team it's because there are some teams who have worked harder than others. The difference isn't in the cars, it's in the work. The cars may look a little different in the nose, but there's no drag difference. We set a goal at the beginning of this year. We want to come out of the season with nine wins and sixth place or better finishes in the races at Daytona and Talladega. RICKY RUDD (#10 Tide Ford) -- There wasn't really much change over the winter in the car. Ford got a new nose and a new hood. Really, the rules are what they are and we've got to work on them and get the best car we can. (On the team) Richard Broome has come on board as crew chief. He just knows so much about motors and cars that it's a pleasure to work with him. We're getting tuned up -- myself and the new crew members -- to working with each other right now. We're here resigned to the fact that we're not going to be as quick as the Chevrolets. Our goal is to get the car driving good so we can draft with them and handle good so we can race with them and hang on. It's a little bit discouraging from that angle, coming into the biggest race of the year on the downside. We'd like to get a win earlier this year rather than stretch it out until Phoenix like we did last year. It gets harder each year. We're going to go out and work hard at it. With all the changes within the team it's going to take us a while to jell as a team, at least the first quarter. We've improved a lot already. This is our second test -- we were at Talladega last week. MICHAEL WALTRIP (#21 Citgo Ford) -- (On his move to the Wood Brothers) I wouldn't say it's like starting over again, but it is a brand new deal. I enjoy racing, I love to race and that's what keeps you going. The Wood Brothers love to race. It's all they've ever done and all they want to do. The attitude is part of the team. I feel like we're going to do well together. This is only the second team I've ever been with. The first team I was with forever. When I switched I wanted to make sure, really sure, that I fit and blended in. I want to drive their race cars the way they build them because they've done good over the years. Here, it's hard to tell because we're running restrictor plate engines and the horsepower is so tied down. I do like what I feel so far. The way the car drives and what I'm used to is definitely different -- but it feels better to me. We'll have to see what the car is like when we get to tracks like Rockingham, Atlanta and others. JEREMY MAYFIELD (#98 RCA Ford) -- We ran really strong at the Ford test session at Talladega last week (see item that follows). I feel a lot more comfortable with the tracks, the team and the cars now after a full season. I've got a lot of confidence going, an experience factor about everything that I didn't have before. Things are really jelling together. I honestly feel that out of all the teams in the garage area that our team is as close together as any team around. We work together great and that's what has helped us so much -- it's really a whole team effort at Cale Yarborough Motorsports. When you've got a situation like that you try to hang onto it. We'll take it as it comes and then take what we've learned and build for 1997. We're not shooting for a one-year deal. MAYFIELD LEADS FORD TESTING AT TALLADEGA TALLADEGA, AL (Jan. 17) -- In somewhat of a surprise, young Jeremy Mayfield, driving the RCA Thunderbird owned by NASCAR great Cale Yarborough, has been the fastest in a Ford testing session at Talladega Superspeedway through the first two days of the scheduled three-day session. Mayfield has out-distanced the rest of the 20 teams involved in the testing, including some of his more famous counterparts like Dale Jarrett, Ernie Irvan and 1995 Winston Select 500 winner Mark Martin. Ford officials didn't release test speeds, only confirming that Mayfield, from Owensboro, KY, had indeed been the quickest. The test session was granted by NASCAR to Ford as a "free" test, meaning that it doesn't count against each team's limited allotment of test sessions for the year. "We have a new nose and hood, and NASCAR agreed to let us test it without counting," said Preston Miller, Ford's NASCAR Program Manager. "This was in keeping with similar tests granted to both Chevrolet and Pontiac the last two years when they introduced new models." Todd Parrott, crew chief for Dale Jarrett, called to get test results on Tuesday. He said the team felt it wasn't ready to come back to Daytona, after testing at Talladega the previous week. "We had some things we had to correct after our test at Talladega, so we're going to go back there this weekend for another test," Parrott noted. This note referred to Tuesday, Jan. 23...dr MAYFIELD CLOSES WINTER AS FASTEST IN TESTING AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24) -- Jeremy Mayfield firmly established himself as the fastest NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver in pre-season stock car testing when he posted the fastest lap of the winter Wednesday in the final day of a Ford test at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Mayfield made himself the early favorite for the Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award on Saturday, Feb. 10, when he was clocked at 47.626 seconds, an average speed of 188.972 mph. While Michael Waltrip improved Ford's hopes with his fourth-best lap of 187.598 mph on Wednesday, Mark Martin, driver of the Roush Racing Valvoline Ford Thunderbird, was confident enough that he did not even post a lap on Wednesday. "I'm hard headed enough to feel like that whatever the GM cars have and what we -- the Fords -- have, doesn't have any bearing on whether or not we will win the championship. I feel that is more controlled by your destiny in broken parts, accidents which you can't avoid and that kind of thing. I think if it's your season to win the championship then you will win it regardless of the GM-Pontiac-Ford issue. That doesn't worry me, but winning races does. I want to win as many races as I possibly can because that's what keeps me my job. Last year was a fantastic year. I'm just in awe of the Roush team and the job they did and the kind of performance we had on the race track. I pray that we can come back and have another year like we did last year. "I don't know what everybody else does, but the thought of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon has never crossed my mind. I mean I'm thinking about our stuff and not their stuff. We're concentrating on trying to get the most out of our team and being a step ahead of our competition. At the same time, it's absolutely right that those guys are going to be the two main contenders along with whoever else." The Speedway will be quiet until IMSA's sports car teams roll in on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Practice for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and 90-minute IMSA Endurance Championship event begins on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 12:30 p.m. Stock car activity resumes on Wednesday, Feb. 7. FORD TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 24* NO DRIVER/CAR SPEED 98 Jeremy Mayfield/Ford 188.972 mph 21 Michael Waltrip/Ford 187.598 7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 186.147 9 Lake Speed/Ford 186.047 37 John Andretti/Ford 185.908 12 Derrike Cope/Ford 185.843 90 Mike Wallace/Ford 185.670 16 Ted Musgrave/Ford 185.559 19 Loy Allen/Ford 185.151 99 Jeff Burton/Ford 184.923 2 Rusty Wallace/Ford 184.385 81 Kenny Wallace/Ford 184.343 27 Elton Sawyer/Ford 184.106 8 Hut Stricklin/Ford 184.098 10 Ricky Rudd/Ford 183.966 23 Jimmy Spencer/Ford 183.917 11 Brett Bodine/Ford 183.752 77 Bobby Hillin/Ford 182.652 80 Joe Ruttman/Ford 181.550 95 Chuck Bown/Ford 181.087 65 Steve Seligman/Ford 177.253 18** Tim Bender/Ford 182.890 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day. ** NASCAR Busch Series car. FINAL CUMULATIVE NASCAR WINSTON CUP TEST SPEEDS* NO DRIVER/CAR DATE TIME SPEED 98 Jeremy Mayfield/Ford 1/24 47.626 188.972 5 Terry Labonte/Chevrolet 1/17 47.830 188.166 25 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 1/15 47.848 188.096 21 Michael Waltrip/Ford 1/24 47.975 187.598 4 Sterling Marlin/Chevy 1/17 47.980 187.578 44 Jeff Purvis/Chevrolet 1/4 48.029 187.387 24 Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet 1/4 48.079 187.192 33 Robert Pressley/Chevy 1/17 48.093 187.137 6 Mark Martin/Ford 1/23 48.134 186.978 3 Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet 1/5 48.159 186.881 88 Dale Jarrett/Ford 1/10 48.195 186.741 30 Johnny Benson/Pontiac 1/17 48.217 186.656 1 Rick Mast/Pontiac 1/16 48.254 186.513 87 Joe Nemechek/Chevrolet 1/17 48.264 186.474 17 Darrell Waltrip/Chevy 1/15 48.279 186.416 23 Jimmy Spencer/Ford 1/23 48.284 186.397 71 Dave Marcis/Chevrolet 1/15 48.346 186.158 7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 1/24 48.349 186.147 9 Lake Speed/Ford 1/24 48.375 186.047 15 Wally Dallenbach/Ford 1/23 48.390 185.989 37 John Andretti/Ford 1/24 48.411 185.908 12 Derrike Cope/Ford 1/24 48.428 185.843 90 Mike Wallace/Ford 1/24 48.473 185.670 16 Ted Musgrave/Ford 1/24 48.502 185.559 43 Bobby Hamilton/Pontiac 1/17 48.568 185.307 99 Jeff Burton/Ford 1/23 48.571 185.296 19 Loy Allen/Ford 1/24 48.609 185.151 73 Phil Barkdoll/Chevrolet 1/16 48.645 185.014 2 Rusty Wallace/Ford 1/23 48.653 184.983 94 Bill Elliott/Ford 1/11 48.673 184.907 10 Ricky Rudd/Ford 1/23 48.673 184.907 97 Chad Little/Pontiac 1/16 48.675 184.900 18 Bobby Labonte/Chevrolet 1/16 48.676 184.896 81 Kenny Wallace/Ford 1/23 48.749 184.619 29 Steve Grissom/Chevrolet 1/15 48.806 184.404 22 Ward Burton/Pontiac 1/17 48.875 184.143 77 Bobby Hillin/Ford 1/23 48.876 184.139 27 Elton Sawyer/Ford 1/24 48.885 184.106 8 Hut Stricklin/Ford 1/24 48.887 184.098 41 Ricky Craven/Chevrolet 1/16 48.973 183.775 11 Brett Bodine/Ford 1/24 48.930 183.752 80 Joe Ruttman/Ford 1/24 49.573 181.550 95 Chuck Bown/Ford 1/23 49.619 181.382 65 Steve Seligman/Ford 1/23 49.953 180.169 * Electronic times taken randomly.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Derrike Cope , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Elton Sawyer , Sterling Marlin , Mike Wallace , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Lyndon Amick , Ricky Craven , Chad Little , Jeff Purvis , Joe Ruttman , Dave Marcis , Rick Mast , Steve Grissom , Roger Penske , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin