News & Media

Adjustments the story of Day 2 at Daytona test

January 13, 2012, Official Release,

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As with any test, especially one as important as 2012 Preseason Thunder at Daytona, getting it right and being open to make adjustments is key.

After the late afternoon practice session on Thursday, NASCAR announced changes for Friday's test sessions with an increase in the diameter of restrictor-plate openings by 1/32nd of an inch to 15/16ths of an inch, adding an estimated 26 horsepower to the engines.

In addition, they lowered the pressure relief valve settings from 30 pounds per square inch to 25 psi and narrowed the grille openings of the cars, thereby decreasing airflow to the engine. Both measures were designed to decrease the number of laps one car can push another without overheating.

As stated by NASCAR officials, this is not only a test for the teams but for NASCAR as well.

"Our goal and our responsibility is to try to make decisions so that racing is as good as everybody expects it to be or better during the Daytona 500," said NASCAR president Mike Helton, addressing the media during the lunch break of Friday's session.

"We watch the speeds and everybody knows we watch the speeds and there's a balance between what we're comfortable with," Helton said.

NASCAR asked drivers to participate in a pack drafting session during the afternoon session to assist in the gathering of information teams and officials were looking for in hopes of being able to apply a baseline when they come back for Speedweeks next month.

"We did some drafting, which is very interesting," said four-time series champion Jeff Gordon. "With the smaller spoiler and restrictor plate, cars have a lot of power, a lot of speed and that has changed things a bit."

Following the afternoon session, NASCAR conferred with its notes and decided to implement additional changes for Saturday, the third and final day of Preseason Thunder.

Changes implemented included the closing of the bottom of the radiator opening, reducing radiator pressures approximately four pounds and a return to the restrictor plate used in Thursday's test session.

Preseason Thunder: Day 2

Morning Practice Speeds
Pos.DriverTimeSpeed Pos.DriverTimeSpeed
2.Clint Bowyer43.962204.722 18.Joey Logano46.135195.080
3.Marcos Ambrose44.304203.142 19.Dale Earnhardt Jr.46.155194.995
4.Aric Almirola44.304203.142 20.Greg Biffle46.184194.873
5.Mark Martin44.610201.748 21.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.46.192194.839
6.Jamie McMurray44.692201.378 22.Kasey Kahne46.193194.835
7.Juan Montoya44.693201.374 23.Kevin Harvick46.204194.788
8.Jeff Gordon45.907196.049 24.Denny Hamlin46.209194.767
9. Kurt Busch45.915196.014 25.Regan Smith46.232194.670
10.A.J. Allmendinger45.961195.818 26.Trevor Bayne46.292194.418
11.Jimmie Johnson46.057195.410 27.Brad Keselowski46.364194.116
12.Tony Stewart46.063195.385 28.Matt Kenseth46.559193.303
13.Danica Patrick46.070195.355 29.Carl Edwards46.703192.707
14.Paul Menard46.072195.346 30.Casey Mears46.752192.505
15.Kyle Busch46.091195.266 31.Dave Blaney46.923191.804
16.Jeff Burton46.129195.105 32.Joe Nemechek47.983187.566

Preseason Thunder: Day 2

Afternoon Practice Speeds
Pos.DriverTimeSpeed Pos.DriverTimeSpeed
2.Regan Smith43.678206.053 18.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.44.103204.068
3.Kyle Busch43.729205.813 19.Matt Kenseth44.105204.058
4.Jeff Gordon43.743205.747 20.Greg Biffle44.190203.666
5.Kasey Kahne43.743205.747 21.Trevor Bayne44.228203.491
6.Paul Menard43.881205.100 22.Mark Martin44.300203.160
7.Kevin Harvick43.882205.095 23.Casey Mears44.453202.461
8.Denny Hamlin43.903204.997 24.Aric Almirola44.689201.392
9.Martin Truex Jr.43.941204.820 25.Marcos Ambrose44.693201.374
10.Clint Bowyer43.944204.806 26.Juan Montoya44.710201.297
11.Brad Keselowski43.964204.713 27.Jamie McMurray44.878200.544
12.AJ Allmendinger43.965204.708 28.Carl Edwards44.882200.526
13.Danica Patrick44.044204.341 29.Jimmie Johnson45.776196.610
14.Tony Stewart44.044204.341 30.Jeff Burton46.075195.334
15.Dale Earnhardt Jr.44.046204.332 31.Dave Blaney46.724192.620
16.Joey Logano44.074204.202 32.Joe Nemechek46.856192.078

"We're going to continue to work on aero packages and plate sizes and all types of things from now until the day we sign back in here at Daytona," said vice president of competition Robin Pemberton.