News & Media

NASCAR, teams continue data collection on Day 3

January 14, 2012, Official Release,

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As the final day of Preseason Thunder wrapped, there was certainly no shortage of information NASCAR and the teams gathered during this three-day test as speeds continued to stand close to the 200-mph mark.

Kasey Kahne led the morning session with a speed of 201.545 mph, with Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson also posting times near the top of the charts.

Teams continued to collaborate with NASCAR throughout the day, in particular with the afternoon pack drafting session, to work toward the goal of reducing the ease of the tandem draft and making it an exception instead of the norm.

"Once we leave here, obviously there will be a lot of energy spent on looking through all of the data that we've collected this week," Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said. "Looking through lap times and speeds and watching film and footage. I would like to have the final rules package out as quickly as we can just to make sure the teams have enough time to react to everything."

Drivers and crew chiefs have been very positive regarding the test, the sharing of information and the adjustments being made by NASCAR.

"They're [NASCAR] definitely thinking ahead and doing a lot of research and development back at their shop," Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Darian Grubb said. "Just coming here with a pre-planned effort with some of the changes and things that they've already done has been a real positive. They've got the data being collected and have a good idea of what they want to do and what they want to accomplish. As they filter that out to us, we go out and hit the race track with it and see how that changes our cars."

"A.J. [Allmendinger] and I were able to log a lot of laps [Saturday] and I feel good about our package for the 500," Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski said. "It's getting harder to perform the two-car draft so maybe we'll see some pack racing when we come back. I had a blast running in the pack [Saturday]."

The afternoon session kicked off with pack drafting for most teams. Top speed of the afternoon was 200.562 mph, posted by Gordon.

NASCAR officials were also pleased with the test and will be taking this data back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., to assist in getting the final rules package together for next month's Daytona 500.

Preseason Thunder: Day 3

Morning Practice Speeds
Pos.DriverTimeSpeed Pos.DriverTimeSpeed
2. Jeff Gordon 44.655 201.545 17. A.J. Allmendinger 47.013 191.436
3. Kurt Busch 45.121 199.464 18. Aric Almirola 47.056 191.261
4. Mark Martin 45.122 199.459 19.Joey Logano 47.102 191.075
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.45.134 199.406 20.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47.176 190.775
6. Jimmie Johnson 45.136 199.397 21.Greg Biffle47.188 190.726
7.Jeff Burton 45.215 199.049 22.Denny Hamlin47.195 190.698
8.Regan Smith 45.216 199.045 23.Clint Bowyer 47.217 190.609
9.Jamie McMurray 46.283 194.456 24.Marcos Ambrose47.260 190.436
10.Juan Montoya 46.644 192.951 25. Martin Truex Jr. 47.276 190.371
11.Paul Menard 46.721 192.633 26.Carl Edwards 47.317 190.206
12.Danica Patrick46.868 192.029 27.Matt Kenseth47.408 189.841
13.Tony Stewart 46.904 191.881 28.Brad Keselowski 47.534 189.338
14.Kyle Busch 46.955 191.673 29.Dave Blaney 47.739 188.525
15.Trevor Bayne 46.967 191.624 30.Joe Nemechek 47.855188.068

Preseason Thunder: Day 3

Afternoon Practice Speeds
Pos.DriverTimeSpeed Pos.DriverTimeSpeed
2.A.J. Allmendinger44.877200.548 15.Aric Almirola45.446198.037
3.Brad Keselowski44.877200.548 16.Greg Biffle45.451198.015
4.Kasey Kahne44.892200.481 17.Matt Kenseth45.452198.011
5.Denny Hamlin45.006199.973 18.Marcos Ambrose45.488197.854
6.Joey Logano45.007199.969 19.Carl Edwards45.540197.628
7.Martin Truex Jr.45.090199.601 20.Regan Smith45.541197.624
8.Clint Bowyer45.091199.596 21.Joe Nemechek46.199194.809
9.Juan Montoya45.190199.159 22.Jimmie Johnson46.462193.707
10.Jamie McMurray45.248198.904 23.Paul Menard46.560193.299
11.Dale Earnhardt Jr.45.310198.632 24.Kevin Harvick46.744192.538
12.Mark Martin45.368198.378 25.Trevor Bayne46.777192.402
13.Jeff Burton45.378198.334 26.Trevor Bayne *47.001191.485

"We've had a good test and gained a lot of information," vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said. "We know that when we come out of here, there will be some loose ends we have to tie up as we get all of our information together and come up with our final plans for Speedweeks. I can say that all in all everything is going according to plan."