Kenseth Sets Pace in Second Day Of Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Preparation For Ford Championship Weekend Points-Leader Busch Turns Much Needed Laps in Two-Day Session MIAMI, FL (11/3/04) - Defending series champion Matt Kenseth...
Kenseth Sets Pace in Second Day Of Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Preparation For Ford Championship Weekend
Points-Leader Busch Turns Much Needed Laps in Two-Day Session
MIAMI, FL (11/3/04) - Defending series champion Matt Kenseth set the fastest lap of the day Wednesday in the second day of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing in preparation for Ford Championship Weekend, Nov. 18-21, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Kenseth circled the 1.5 mile oval in his No. 17 Dewalt Ford Tuesday with a speed of 174.194 mph (31.04 sec.). He was followed by Kyle Petty's No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at 173.633 mph (31.10 sec.) and Busch's No. 97 Sharpie Ford at 173.054 mph (31.25 sec.).
Busch, who is the current points-leader in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and led Tuesday's session, was pleased to finally turn some significant laps on the newly-reconfigured Homestead-Miami Speedway. At last year's Ford 400, Busch was involved in a lap four incident in last year's Ford 400 which knocked him out of the race.
"This is a fresh outlook for us because it's really the first time we are getting to see the facelift on the track," said Busch. "That's why we are down here testing. The testing is vital for this Chase for the NEXTEL Cup."
During the two-day session, Busch was impressed with the new 20-degree variable banking at the Homestead-Miami Speedway after turning many laps during the test.
"It's a cool racetrack," added Busch. "I can understand the need to change it and appeal to the fans. Stock cars need banking to race on and they've given us that here."
With the new track surface a year older, Busch expects the racing to be very competitive as he and several other drivers will be racing hard to capture the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup during the Ford 400 season finale.
"The track is now a year older so it's a bit more mature, so that will help with the racing," Busch said. "With the way the corners are shaped here with the flatter entry and wider exits with the banking it's definitely a track that you don't have to worry about track position because you can pass."
Testing continues next Tuesday and Wednesday November 8-9 with 20 drivers tentatively scheduled to test on the high-banked 1.5 mile oval, including championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Testing is open to the public free of charge. Fans may view the testing from the Speedway's Club Level.
Unofficial times and speeds for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing November 3 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway:
<pre> November 3 (Day Two):
1. 17 Matt Kenseth 31.04 sec 174.194 mph 2. 45 Kyle Petty 31.10 sec 173.633 mph 3. 97 Kurt Busch 31.25 sec 173.054 mph
For more information, or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend, call (305) 230-RACE or log on homesteadmiamispeedway.com.