NASCAR: Sprint Cup Cars Finally Get Track Time at Daytona

By Nick DeGroot
Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Rain washed out the opening day of Preseason Thunder and also halted all on-track action until the afternoon today. NASCAR extended the test until 9:00 pm EST due to the inclement weather, and the teams took full advantage of the valuable track time. Today marked the first time the black No. 3 was seen in Cup and at Daytona; Austin Dillon did the number proud, posting the fastest lap during the test.

There were no incidents and only five or six cars decided to take part in drafting. However, the small pack was unable to dislodge Dillon from the top spot. He was over a tenth of a second faster than his closest competitor and teammate, Brian Scott, with a lap time of 46.128 seconds (195.109mph). A few teams flew back to North Carolina early in order to beat the bad weather back home.


– Kasey Kahne ran the most laps at 106 total (265 miles).

Rusty Wallace finally get his chance behind the wheel of the No. 2 Ford Fusion and was the fastest car out of the Ford camp in single-car runs.

Robin Pemberton hinted once again that major changes are coming to the qualifying format and although no details were released, he confirmed that the Nationwide and Trucks will no longer use single-car runs to determine the starting grid for events in 2014.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. addressed Steve Letarte’s decision to leave the team and said that he first found out last October and was shocked. He went on to say that he doesn’t want much input in who the replacement will be and plans to leave that to Hendrick Motorsports executives.

Matt Crafton tested Paul Menard’s car for Richard Childress Racing because Paul is busy dealing with flood damage to his home.

Fastest Drivers

1. Austin Dillon No. 3 – Richard Childress Racing

2. Brian Scott No. 33 – Richard Childress Racing

3. Matt Crafton No. 27 – Richard Childress Racing

4.  Aric Almirola No. 43 – Richard Petty Motorsports

5. Kyle Larson No. 42 – Chip Ganassi Racing

6. Casey Mears No. 13 – Germain Racing

7. Kurt Busch No. 41 – Stewart-Haas Racing

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 – Hendrick Motorsports

9. Denny Hamlin No. 11 – Joe Gibbs Racing

10.) Danica Patrick No. 10 – Stewart-Haas Racing

Preseason Thunder continues with the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series getting their chance at tackling the famous speedway over the next few days.

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