News & Media


Plenty of star power at final day of testing

January 12, 2013, Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Danica Patrick

Kenseth, Biffle impress as final Thunder session wraps up

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The search for speed continued Saturday during the third day of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway -- among NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with their race cars still intact.

After Friday's 12-car accident during drafting practice sent many teams packing, single-car runs were the order of the day among those who stayed for the duration.

On NASCAR's part, this year's season-opening test was a sharp contrast to that of 2012, when the sanctioning body spent three days tinkering with the superspeedway rules package in an attempt to break up two-car drafts and to scale down speeds that exceeded 206 mph.
 
Even though the Cup series is transitioning to a new Generation-6 race car, the 2013 sessions required little manipulation on NASCAR's part. Average lap speeds in the draft topped out at the 199.650 mph achieved Friday afternoon by 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, and NASCAR was comfortable with the results.
 
"We're in the ballpark," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "We know the teams will go back, and they'll work and they'll bring a little bit better ‘this' and better ‘that.' … We're right in the ballpark, and we don't foresee any changes."
 
Pemberton acknowledged that one consideration in designing the Gen-6 cars was breaking up the tandem racing, which was not a fan favorite.
 
"When it was new, it was cool," Pemberton said of the aggressive two-car push-drafting. "When it was a couple races old, the coolness wore off of it. It was something that wasn't very normal for us.
 
"If you saw us last year at this time, we left this race track drafting at 206 miles an hour and went back and made rule changes based on trying to minimize the advantage of doing that (tandem drafting) and to minimize the appetite to do that, knowing that -- if it was the fastest way around -- you would do that late in the race to win the race."
 
Ryan Newman was first to top 194 mph in single-car runs Saturday afternoon, posting a lap at 194.083 mph as the session moved toward conclusion.

Greg Biffle finished with the top time of the day, posting a speed of 194.936 mph on his 23rd and final lap.

Matt Kenseth, who posted the top time in the morning session, was second in the afternoon session. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch was third on the afternoon.

NASCAR Preseason Thunder -- Practice 6 results
Saturday, Jan. 12
Pos
Car
Driver Team
Time
Speed
Lap #
# Laps
-Fastest
-Next
1
16
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.169
194.936
23
23
---.---
---.---
2
20
Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.221
194.717
23
23
-0.052
-0.052
3
18
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.254
194.578
5
36
-0.085
-0.033
4
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.295
194.405
57
57
-0.126
-0.041
5
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
46.354
194.158
30
33
-0.185
-0.059
6
39
Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.372
194.083
8
20
-0.203
-0.018
7
99
Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.458
193.723
24
24
-0.289
-0.086
8
14
Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.528
193.432
11
11
-0.359
-0.070
9
10
Danica Patrick Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.529
193.428
5
11
-0.360
-0.001
10
48
Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.617
193.063
15
15
-0.448
-0.088
11
21
Trevor Bayne Wood Bros Racing Ford
46.629
193.013
5
5
-0.460
-0.012
12
13
Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford
46.826
192.201
11
11
-0.657
-0.197
13
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.828
192.193
5
8
-0.659
-0.002
14
38
Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford
47.295
190.295
24
27
-1.126
-0.467
15
83
T. Kvapil / D. Reutimann BK Racing Toyota
48.198
186.730
14
34
-2.029
-0.903

NASCAR Preseason Thunder -- Practice 5 results
Saturday, Jan. 12
Pos
Car
Driver Team
Time
Speed
Lap #
# Laps
-Fastest
-Next
1
20
Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.377
194.062
27
27
---.---
---.---
2
21
Trevor Bayne Wood Bros Racing Ford
46.467
193.686
14
14
-0.090
-0.090
3
10
Danica Patrick Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.476
193.648
5
23
-0.099
-0.009
4
27
Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.519
193.469
2
21
-0.142
-0.043
5
14
Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.587
193.187
21
21
-0.210
-0.068
6
33
Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.613
193.079
23
23
-0.236
-0.026
7
31
Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.673
192.831
7
21
-0.296
-0.060
8
16
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.696
192.736
24
24
-0.319
-0.023
9
18
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.699
192.724
5
14
-0.322
-0.003
10
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
46.717
192.649
17
23
-0.340
-0.018
11
39
Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.717
192.649
2
8
-0.340
-0.000
12
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
46.740
192.555
19
19
-0.363
-0.023
13
29
Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.868
192.029
23
23
-0.491
-0.128
14
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.880
191.980
23
24
-0.503
-0.012
15
48
Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.917
191.828
23
24
-0.540
-0.037
16
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.976
191.587
18
18
-0.599
-0.059
17
99
Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.978
191.579
6
18
-0.601
-0.002
18
38
Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford
47.265
190.416
20
20
-0.888
-0.287
19
13
Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford
47.307
190.247
27
27
-0.930
-0.042
20
47
Bobby Labonte JTG Racing Toyota
47.670
188.798
30
30
-1.293
-0.363
21
83
T. Kvapil / D. Reutimann BK Racing Toyota
48.283
186.401
20
23
-1.906
-0.613