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Elliotts lead day one of testing

January 11, 2014, Kenny Bruce,

Regan Smith posts third best speed of 187.950 mph during first day of testing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Like father, like son. 

Chase and Bill Elliott, the son and father testing for JR Motorsports here this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, led the first day’s efforts as the NASCAR Nationwide Series began its two-day portion of Preseason Thunder.

Chase Elliott, who will run the full season for JRM in the NAPA-branded No. 9 Chevrolet, ended the afternoon session atop the scoreboard with a draft-aided lap of 187.993 mph.

The elder Elliott, winner of the 1988 NASCAR Cup championship, checked in right behind his son at 197.974 mph. While he hasn’t competed since 2012, he is testing a second JRM entry for the organization here this weekend. 

Not to be outdone, fellow JRM driver Regan Smith posted the third fastest lap (187.950 mph), with Ty Dillon (Richard Childress Racing) and Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing) completing the top five. 

While Sprint Cup Series testing the previous day saw only limited drafting efforts, Nationwide teams spent a major portion of Friday afternoon in packs on the track. 

Missing, however, was the two-car tandem draft which has been a big part of racing at Daytona recently, but which has also been blamed for late-race multi-car crashes. 

The use of new cooling systems similar to those in its Cup cars that don’t allow vehicles to stay hooked up nose to rear bumper for multiple laps without overheating the engine of the trailing car should lessen the likelihood of the tandem draft. But officials have taken an additional step, saying they would black-flag teams for doing so during practice sessions and races. 

The process is also taboo during this week’s test for both the Nationwide and Truck Series. 

“They made it very clear that if we tandem (draft) at all, if you lock bumpers, both cars will be black-flagged,” driver Elliott Sadler said. 

Twenty-five teams participated in Saturday’s test. Sunday’s schedule will see cars on the track from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams take over the 2.5-mile superspeedway on Monday and Tuesday. 


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