Wallace anything but rusty at Daytona By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12, 1999) Rusty Wallace made a statement in last year's Daytona 500 with his strong fifth-place finish. The short-track ace proved he was ready to step up to the...
Wallace anything but rusty at Daytona By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12, 1999) Rusty Wallace made a statement in last year's Daytona 500 with his strong fifth-place finish. The short-track ace proved he was ready to step up to the plate in restrictor-plate races.
And Tuesday Wallace continued the trend by posting the fastest time in the first day of the final Ford NASCAR Winston Cup Series manufacturer's test at Daytona International Speedway, turning his No. 2A Miller Lite Ford around the 2.5-mile trioval in 46.879 seconds for a speed of 191.984 mph.
"(The 2A) is a brand new car. It's the first time we've run it," Wallace said. "We're real pleased. We've got us a real hot rod right out of the box."
Jerry Nadeau surprisingly posted the second-fastest time of the day, driving the No. 9 Ford at a top clip of 191.144 mph. Dale Jarrett was third-fastest in the No. 88A Ford at 190.735 mph, while Jeremy Mayfield was fourth in the No. 12A Ford at 190.658 mph and Kevin Lepage fifth in his No. 16A Taurus at 190.219 mph.
Wallace's second car, No. 2B, was quite a bit slower than the No. 2A ride, running a top speed of 188.450 mph. For the upcoming Bud Shootout on Feb. 7, Wallace may choose 2B, or not 2B.
"Right now we're trying to decide which car to use for the Daytona 500," Wallace said. "The B-car probably will be the (Bud Shootout) car. We're going to take it and run nothing but race setups all day tomorrow."
Wallace and Penske teammate Mayfield have utilized retired driver-turned-broadcaster Buddy Baker as a test driver in the past at Daytona, but Wallace said there was no need for a third set of driving shoes this time around, along with the fact that a NASCAR rules change prohibits second drivers at test sessions.
"We don't have that many things that we're trying to do with the cars," Wallace said. "We'll probably use Buddy later (in April) at Talladega."
Finishing out the top-10 speeds on the first day of the test in preparation for the Daytona 500 were Jarrett in the No. 88 Ford, Jarrett's teammate Kenny Irwin in the No. 28A Ford, Nadeau in the No. 9A Ford, Chad Little in the No. 97B Ford and Dick Trickle in the No. 13 Taurus.
Source: NASCAR Online