On a day that started off delayed due to a wet track surface, the ARCA Menards Series open test at Daytona was also cut short Friday afternoon by inclement weather. Connor Hall (No. 22C Chad Bryant Racing Ford) had just moved to the top of the leaderboard as a group of drivers had started to work the draft, raising speeds above 180 miles per hour.
Hall’s fast lap of 49.711 seconds/181.046 miles per hour just narrowly nipped Ronnie Osmer’s fastest lap. Osmer (No. 02O Our Motorsports Chevrolet) timed in with a lap at 49.754 seconds/180.890 miles per hour, just 0.043 seconds off Hall’s fastest lap.
“We were working on single car runs this morning,” Hall said. “We had a game plan to work on the car and getting air where we wanted it. We made some gains and learned some things we liked and didn’t like. That’s what testing is all about. We were focused on what we needed to be better on last year. We have a great racecar. We are happy but not totally happy so we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
Chad Bryant Racing’s Jacob Heafner (No. 77H Chad Bryant Racing Ford) was third at 49.767 seconds/180.843 miles per hour.
“It was a learning curve atthe beginning,” Heafner said. “I calmed myself down and got to driving. It is a big change coming from late models on short tracks. We worked a little on single car runs and then got out there in the draft a little. We’re learning a lot and ready to come back in February.”
Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) was fourth quick at 49.772 seconds/180.825 miles per hour and Andy Suess (No. 02S Our Motorsports Chevrolet) rounded out the top five at 49.828 seconds/180.621 miles per hour.
Others that teamed up to work the draft and exceed 180 miles per hour included Gus Dean (No. 32 Win Tron Racing Chevrolet), Riley Herbst (No. 18H Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet), Dominique Van Wieringen (No. 30D Rette Jones Racing Ford), and her brother Tristan Van Wieringen (No. 30T Rette Jones Racing Ford). Bret Holmes (No. 23 Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet) rounded out the top ten.
Thirty-seven drivers took time of the 50 that have registered. No incidents were reported throughout the day.
The two day test in preparation for the ARCA Menards Series season opening Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire, set for Saturday, February 8, will continue tomorrow morning at 9 am ET with the afternoon session set for 1 pm ET. Live timing and scoring will be available throughout the day at ARCARacing.com.