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GMAC Racing Tests Daytona

  • Jan 27, 2003

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2003) - In more ways than one, Brian Vickers and the GMAC Racing team spent the first of its two-day preseason test session at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway trying to get up to speed and stay warm.

Having never been to Daytona before, Thursday’s practice session allowed Vickers to become familiar with the 2.5-mile superspeedway and interact with his crew members.

“I feel like the two days have allowed me to get a good grasp on the track and how to drive it,” Vickers said. “I’ve moved my lines around the track and I feel pretty comfortable after comparing input with other drivers.

“I love the speed, but it can be frustrating at times because you think you can do something inside the car to make it go faster, when you really can’t. Unlike some of the other tracks we race at, being good at Daytona comes down to having a good aerodynamic package and horsepower.”

On Thursday, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. posted the fastest lap of the day with a speed of 183.658 mph. Vickers ended Thursday’s session 13th overall after registering a lap of 180.267 mph, with a time of 49.926 seconds.

Teams practicing Friday were thrown a curve as high winds and uncharacteristically cold temperatures plagued the area. However, the cold temperatures did not slow down Earnhardt, as he once again led all teams with a speed of 183.520 mph.

After struggling much of the day, the GMAC team managed to post their best lap of the two-day session late Friday afternoon with a speed of 180.875 mph, which was good enough for eighth-fastest for the day and 13th overall for the two days.

“I’m kind of disappointed we didn’t run any faster than we did,” said crew chief Lance McGrew. “We didn’t find the kind of speed we were looking for, but we did get a lot accomplished and gathered a lot of information to help us in making changes for when we come back in three weeks.

“There’s plenty for us to do between now and when we come back, but I’m very confident we’ll come back to Daytona and be quite a bit better.”

The start of the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season is just three weeks away and will officially begin on Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway.

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