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Kahne, Gordon lead Saturday test sessions at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, led the morning testing session at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 201.545 mph.

His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson also posted times near the top of the charts during the first session.

The afternoon session kicked off with pack drafting for most teams. Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, recorded the top speed of the afternoon at 200.562 mph.

Teams continued to collaborate with NASCAR throughout the day, in particular with the afternoon pack drafting session, to work towards 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,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby. “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.”

NASCAR officials also were 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.

“We’ve had a good test and gained a lot of information,” said Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “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.”

Great seats are still available for the 54th Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012.  Call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytona500.com.

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