NASCAR

NSCS: Dillon Tops Sprint Cup Portion of Preseason Thunder

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Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

By Kyle Brandt – Editor-in-Chief

January 10, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.–¬†In his first official outing in the legendary No. 3 car, Austin Dillon set the fastest time in an abbreviated test session on Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

After rain halted all on-track activitites on Thursday and continued to do the same on Friday morning, the Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams who made the trip to Daytona were finally able to take to the track to log precious laps in preparation for next month’s Daytona 500.

On just the 18th of the 38 laps he recorded on Friday, Austin Dillon took the top spot with a speed of 195.109 MPH and would remain there for the rest of the day as the Richard Childress Racing camp quickly proved that all their offseason work was fruitful.

Brian Scott ended the session with the second-fastest lap of the day in his No. 33 entry for RCR, but was nearly six-tenths of a second off the time set by his teammate, Austin Dillon.

Logging the third-fastest time was Matt Crafton- who piloted the No. 27 entry in place of Paul Menard who elected to stay home back in Charlotte to deal with his flooded home.

As preaseason testing at Daytona usually is, Friday’s session was a cut-and-dry affair as teams elected to stick with single car runs to tinker with various setups and squeeze every bit of speed that they could out of their cars. Although most of the cars that took to the track were not the same ones that will do the same next month for the Daytona 500, most teams refused to partake in drafting and risk damaging their cars.

With just a little more than an hour remaining in the session, however, a small pack of cars did take to the track and practice drafting. Among those who participated were Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne. Despite tucking in behind one another, they were still unable to best the time of Austin Dillon.

As the session ended, Chevrolet appears to be primed for another strong speedweeks in February at Daytona. In total, Chevrolet drivers held all but two spots in the top-ten of the speed charts.

The Ford teams, who received revamped noses during the offseason to combat their overheating issues of last season, were led by Aric Almirola who finished the session in third, but the next fastest in the camp was 18th.

Between Chevrolet and Ford was Toyota who were led by Denny Hamlin in ninth.

Sprint Cup Series teams now have one month before they will return to the track at Daytona on February 14th to practice for the  annual Sprint Unlimited exhibition race under the lights.

Pos. No. Name Make Laps Best Time (sec.) Best Speed (mph)
1. 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 38 46.128 195.109
2. 33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 57 46.253 194.582
3. 27 Matt Crafton Chevrolet 53 46.310 194.342
4. 43 Aric Almirola Ford 52 46.433 193.828
5. 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 73 46.533 193.411
6. 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 45 46.547 193.353
7. 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 44 46.572 193.249
8. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 67 46.604 193.116
9. 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 88 46.615 193.071
10. 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 56 46.617 193.063
11. 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 95 46.627 193.021
12. 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 43 46.635 192.988
13. 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 65 46.648 192.934
14. 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 106 46.658 192.893
15. 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 57 46.709 192.682
16. 26 Cole Whitt Toyota 53 46.758 192.480
17. 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 43 46.766 192.448
18. 22 Joey Logano Ford 60 46.826 192.201
19. 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 42 46.829 192.189
20. 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 44 46.850 192.102
21. 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 33 46.910 191.857
22. 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 50 46.950 191.693
23. 21 Trevor Bayne Ford 47 46.959 191.657
24. 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 48 46.966 191.628
25. 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 59 47.053 191.274
26. 16 Greg Biffle Ford 55 47.065 191.225
27. 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 57 47.081 191.160
28. 14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 62 47.108 191.050
29. 52 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 41 47.163 190.828
30. 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota 59 47.193 190.706
31. 83 Alex Bowman Toyota 78 47.267 190.408
32. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Ford 47 47.351 190.070
33. 30 Parker Kilgerman Toyota 48 47.364 190.018
34. 95 Michael McDowell Ford 41 47.402 189.865
35. 77 Dave Blaney Ford 17 47.480 189.553
36. 99 Carl Edwards Ford 39 47.498 189.482
37. 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 46 47.771 188.399
38. 93 Ryan Truex Toyota 63 47.876 187.986
39. 32 Reed Sorenson Ford 38 47.942 187.727
40. 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 42 48.544 185.399

Preseason Thunder testing continues on Saturday and Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway when the drivers and teams of the NASCAR Nationwide Series take to the track. Stay up to date with all of the happenings by following Motor Racing Scene on Twitter and “liking” us on Facebook.

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About Kyle Brandt

Kyle Brandt is a co-owner and the Managing Editor at Rubbings Racing. He can be followed on Twitter (@kbrandtMRS) for the latest motorsports updates and information.

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