Dick Trickle Fastest in First Day Testing

Trickle quickest as Daytona testing opens DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 3, 1999) Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., posted the fastest time Sunday as five Ford NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams opened the pre-season test schedule at Daytona ...

Trickle quickest as Daytona testing opens

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 3, 1999) Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., posted the fastest time Sunday as five Ford NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams opened the pre-season test schedule at Daytona International Speedway, preparing for the Feb. 7 Bud Shootout and the "Great American Race," the 41st annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. Trickle was clocked at 47.611 seconds, an average speed of 189.032 mph, in one of two No. 13 Ford Tauruses owned by Bill Elliott that he tested. Among the other drivers who tested were Robert Pressley in the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford (48.034 seconds, 187.367 mph), Mike Harmon in the No. 90 Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce Ford (48.449, 185.762), Ricky Craven in the No. 58 SBIII Motorsports Taurus (48.527, 185.464) and Mark Gibson in the No. 59 JaniKing Ford (48.896, 184.064). Trickle, Pressley and Harmon each tested two cars. "I think Bill has enough parts and pieces and cars and personnel to run a second team part-time," said Trickle of the operation that Elliott debuted in 1998 with co-owner Dan Marino. "And as you know the Daytona 500 is the granddaddy of them all. If you're going to run five races during the year, the Daytona 500 is going to be one of them." The participation of the No. 13 team this season has been in question since it lost its sponsorship following the 1998 season. Trickle also was out of a ride when team owner Junie Donlavey lost his sponsor. Donlavey subsequently signed a deal with Big Daddy's, which brought driver Harmon to the No. 90 team based in Richmond, Va. "It just happened that I am the odd man out during the off-season," Trickle said, "and he (Elliott) gave me a call and asked me to come down here and shake the car down." Craven, who will drive for the new No. 58 SBIII Motorsports team owned by Scott Barbour, is anxiously awaiting the beginning of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Craven suffered some down time in 1998 due to injuries suffered in racing accidents and lost his ride in the process. He substituted for the injured Ernie Irvan at the end of the season and had a couple decent runs in Irvan's No. 36 Skittles Pontiac. "We were hoping for a good strong start, but most importantly, we want to show improvement each time we test," Craven said. "Time is a scarce commodity during testing. You have to make the most of what little time you do have. "We are awfully proud of what we have accomplished during the off-season, but the real test is when we come back here in February and get ready for the biggest race we will run all year." Ford's initial two-day test session is scheduled to conclude Tuesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open daily at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided tours of the Speedway are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee. General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup teams are scheduled to have the track on Wednesday and Thursday. Ford teams are scheduled to return on Jan. 12-13, when more than 25 teams have indicated they will participate.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Ernie Irvan , Dick Trickle , Robert Pressley , Ricky Craven , Mike Harmon , Mark Gibson