Gordon on top as final GM test opens DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 19, 1999) Three-time and defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon roared out of the box to open a jam-packed final test session Tuesday at Daytona International ...
Gordon on top as final GM test opens
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 19, 1999) Three-time and defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon roared out of the box to open a jam-packed final test session Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500. Gordon, the 1997 Daytona 500 winner, was clocked at 46.916 seconds, an average speed of 191.832 mph, in one of two Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlos -- each emblazoned with his testing trademark skull and crossbones emblem. Thirty drivers tested a total of 47 cars Tuesday, the opening day of the final two-day General Motors test session of the pre-season at Daytona. Kyle Petty, who won the Bud Pole Award for the 1993 Daytona 500, was second quickest and the fastest Pontiac Grand Prix in his No. 44 PE2 car, at 47.028/191.375. Gordon's DuPont Chevrolet thus lines up fifth overall of all the NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars that have tested this month, while Petty's ride unofficially slots into sixth. Rusty Wallace clocked the fastest lap of the winter last week when he turned a lap of the 2.5-mile trioval in 193.129 mph in his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. Rounding out the top-five drivers Tuesday were Richard Childress Racing pilot and former Daytona 500 Bud Pole winner Mike Skinner, who went 190.856 mph in his No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet; two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin, who was at 190.255 mph in the No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet; and defending Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt, who logged a 190.130 mph lap in his No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet. Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Terry Labonte was the only other driver over 190 -- at 190.022 in the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet. A couple pleasant surprises marked the rest of the top-10, as Wally Dallenbach in the Budweiser Chevrolet was next up at 189.934; Michael Waltrip made his Daytona debut for Mattei Motorsports and Philips and his return to a Chevrolet after a long stretch in Pontiacs and Fords, at 189.889; John Andretti hit 189.665 in the STP Pontiac; and sophomore driver Steve Park rounded out the top-10 with a 189.498 mph lap in his Pennzoil Chevrolet. The GM test concludes Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through the DAYTONA USA lobby. Stock car Speedweeks 1999 for NASCAR teams begins on Feb. 4 when NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams sign into the Daytona garage area.
Source: NASCAR Online