Greg Biffle leads the final test session at Daytona during Preseason Thunder
by Ashley McCubbin On Sat, Jan. 12, 2013
With these being the final five hours of testing for the Daytona 500, some teams were getting their final runs in to finish their lists, while other teams had packed up and gone home. In total, 15 teams hit the track.
When the laps were done being counted, it’d be Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle topping the charts with a speed of 194.936 mph. While it marked the highest speed of Saturday, it also marks the highest single car run by any driver over the course of the three days.
Matt Kenseth was second on the speed charts, five hundreths off of Biffle. Kenseth made the swap from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2013 season and has been using the test to get used to new crew chief Jason Ratcliffe. Despite being only their second time working together, the pair have been quick throughout the entire test session.
Kenseth’s JGR teammate Kyle Busch was third, eight hundreths off of Biffle. Busch’s team had to make significant repairs yesterday after being involved in the 10-car wreck after Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into Marcos Ambrose.
Earnhardt Jr. continued to improve, ranking fourth on the speed chart on Saturday afternoon. It’s Earnhardt Jr.’s highest test ranking as for the most part, he was mid-pack in speeds.
“It’s gotten really good today,” he said. “This day has been great. We could get out there, made tons of runs not having to wait in line. We learned a lot, found a lot of speed.”
Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top five. Ryan Newman was sixth, followed by Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson.
Following the test, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said it was successful, not expecting any changes to be made before Speedweeks in February. However, he did state that he looks forward to an exciting finish to the Daytona 500.
“When it comes down to the trophy, the check and the trophy queen, all bets are off,” Pemberton said. “I expect them to run hard at the end (of the race) and make sure they are around for the end of the race and make sure they are positioned where they can get (to the checkered flag). There is no telling what you’ll see.”
Teams will now focus on testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway next Thursday and Friday as they continue to learn the new cars.