DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 12, 2002) - Chuck Gafrarar has made plenty of trips to Daytona International Speedway as a mechanic on the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford driven by Rusty Wallace in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. On Saturday during the first...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 12, 2002) - Chuck Gafrarar has made plenty of trips to Daytona International Speedway as a mechanic on the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford driven by Rusty Wallace in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
On Saturday during the first day of a two-day NASCAR Goody's Dash Series test session in preparation for the Feb. 9 DAYTONA USA 150, Gafrarar wasn't a crew member anymore. This time, he was driving a Pontiac Sunfire for Randy Humphrey Motorsports.
"I've been here the past five or six years, but on the other side of the fence," said Gafrarar, who posted the second fastest speed of the day with a lap of 161.293 mph. "I've never been on the race track. I've always been working in these garages."
As a fabricator at Penske Racing, the 31-year-old Gafrarar, a native of Lancaster, Penn., works on the bodies Wallace's No. 2 Ford making them as aerodynamically sound as possible. But during his spare time, he has been pursuing a career as a race car driver.
Since he was nine-years-old, Gafrarar has been racing, winning seven national championships in go-karts and capturing a national championship driving legend cars. He has also done some late model racing.
Gafrarar, who doesn't travel too often with Wallace's Winston Cup team, will make a run at NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Rookie of the Year honors this season. He knows that if he wants to be successful, he must accomplish several key things.
"You've got to run consistent," said Gafrarar, who was wearing a Miller Lite uniform during the test and will be sponsored by Icehouse during the season. "You've got to stay out of trouble and have a competitive car to stay up in the top 10."
During the Feb. 9 DAYTONA USA 150 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series season opener, Wallace will be on the radio serving as a coach to Gafrarar.
Before the test started on Saturday, Gafrarar and a couple of other rookies took a ride around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a passenger vehicle with some veteran drivers.
"Robert Huffman and Scott Weaver took (the rookies) around the track showing us some pointers and how to respect the track," Gafrarar said.
NASCAR Goody's Dash Series testing continues on Sunday at the Speedway and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2002 events and the Feb. 9 DAYTONA USA 150 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223. <pre>
Goody's Dash Series Test Speeds (Top 10) 1. Larry Caudill, Pontiac, 162.681 mph 2. (tie) Chuck Gafrarar, Pontiac, 161.293 Scott Krehling, Pontiac, 161.293 4. Randy Humphrey, Pontiac, 161.204 5. Scott Weaver, Pontiac, 160.772 6. Steve Christian, Pontiac, 160.568 7. Dan Shaver, Pontiac, 160.419 8. Cam Strader, Mercury, 160.194 9. Angie Wilson, Pontiac, 160.108 10. Keith Roggen, Chevrolet, 159.569