Busch, T. Bodine pour on the speed during Brickyard test. INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - Young Kurt Busch and veteran Todd Bodine both were faster than the top NASCAR Winston Cup Series lap ever officially turned at the Indianapolis ...
Busch, T. Bodine pour on the speed during Brickyard test.
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - Young Kurt Busch and veteran Todd Bodine both were faster than the top NASCAR Winston Cup Series lap ever officially turned at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the first round of Brickyard 400 testing ended July 10.
Busch, who will turn 24 Aug. 4, blazed to a 181.777-mph lap during a mid-afternoon run in his Roush Racing Rubbermaid Ford. This surpassed the official Brickyard 400 one-lap qualifying record of 181.072 mph set by Brett Bodine, Todd Bodine's older brother, in 2000. Brett Bodine's run came in the second qualifying session that day, and he started 26th in the race.
Todd Bodine topped his brother's speed early in the day with a circuit at 181.577 in his Haas/Carter Motorsports Discover Card Ford. The weather at the time was overcast and cool.
"I didn't expect that so soon," Busch said of his hot lap. "But we know the racetrack is much faster than the year previous with us bringing back more downforce and the racetrack doing its preparations (a diamond grinding of the surface)."
Busch, who stands 10th in the Winston Cup point standings in his second full season on the circuit, turned his fast lap in a car the team built especially for Indianapolis. Crew chief Jimmy Fennig chose to make their simulated qualifying run in the heat of the afternoon because qualifying for the Brickyard starts at 3 p.m.
"That's something where we didn't want it to give us a false impression of what was going on," Busch said. "It's easy to do at Indianapolis, go out in the morning and do a fast lap. So we waited to prepare for the second day of qualifying. It's good to see us go that fast when they've been working on it for two days.
"You never know. It's apples and apples. Things will show up on Friday when we come back in August."
For Todd Bodine and team, it was a big confidence builder to be fastest Tuesday and second-fastest today. The team lost its Kmart sponsorship early in the season and has struggled to make every race. Discover Card's six-race sponsorship was due to expire after this Sunday's race at Chicagoland Speedway, but the firm announced Monday it was renewing for the remainder of the season.
"Our qualifying run was good," Bodine said. "We learned a lot. We are struggling a little with our race run. We're pretty quick, but we're not where we want it to be. One's brand new, and the other one is one we had. The one we had actually is better than the new one. It's probably the one we'll come back with."
Todd Bodine did no gloating about beating his brother's speed.
"We had perfect conditions," he said. "It was overcast, cool, the track was cool, just everything was right. The car was perfect."
Mark Martin followed the speed leaders with a lap of 179.524 in his Pfizer/Viagra Ford. Next came series points leader Sterling Marlin at 179.276 in the Coors Light Dodge and Steve Park at 179.136 in the Pennzoil Chevrolet.
Veteran Ken Schrader was nonplussed by the fast speeds of the two pacesetters after setting his best speed of 178.258 in the M&M's Pontiac, good for ninth overall.
"We just worry about how fast our car goes and not how fast it is to everybody else's," he said. "You can't look at what everybody else is doing, just look at your own."
A second round of testing on the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis will take place July 15-16 for the rest of the teams. Busch believes more drivers will eclipse Brett Bodine's track-record speed before the testing ends.
"There will be at least a half-a-dozen below the track record before we come back and attempt to qualify," he said.
<pre> NASCAR Winston Cup Series Testing Results, July 10, 2002 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Pos. Car No. Driver Best Speed Laps 1. 97A Kurt Busch 181.777 mph 34 2. 26A Todd Bodine 181.577 3 3. 6 Mark Martin 179.524 102 4. 40T Sterling Marlin 179.276 19 5. 1A Steve Park 179.136 13 6. 31A Robby Gordon 178.541 49 7. 55 Bobby Hamilton 178.494 36 8. 77A Dave Blaney 178.268 10 9. 36A Ken Schrader 178.258 40 10. 4A Mike Skinner 178.253 12 11. 4 Mike Skinner 178.120 16 12. 5A Terry Labonte 177.929 36 13. 77B Dave Blaney 177.624 5 14. 23 Hut Stricklin 177.576 41 15. 23A Hut Stricklin 177.204 34 16. 88 Dale Jarrett 177.119 26 17. 32B Ricky Craven 177.001 26 18. 97 Kurt Busch 176.361 3 19. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 175.821 32 20. 36 Kenny Schrader 175.729 41 21. 6A Mark Martin 175.540 9 22. 1 Steve Park 175.424 5 23. 26 Todd Bodine 175.167 18 24. 40 Sterling Marlin 174.779 21 25. 5 Terry Labonte 173.510 25 26. 31 Robby Gordon 172.626 10 27. 8A Dale Earnhardt Jr. 172.300 3