Daytona Day 2 News and Notes

Daytona Day 2 News and Notes

In the past, an on-track incident at Daytona that left a car with minor body damage, especially to the nose, would have meant a back-up car and a potentially expensive repair bill. With the Five Star flange-fit composite body that is now mandatory in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, that's no longer the case.

Tommy Vigh, Jr. had an on-track scrap with another car yesterday that resulted in nose damage to the No. 10 Extreme Energy Solutions Ford. Rather than pulling out a backup car, team owner Andy Hillenburg and his crew went to work and merely replaced the nose on the car.

"If this was with a steel body car that would have been a backup car for sure," Hillenburg said. "Not only would we have to repair the primary car, we'd also be risking damage to the backup car. Now, all we need to do is replace the nose. The cost of the body might be the same, but there's a huge savings on maintenance and repair."

Brad Smith is at the track with a new - at least to him - composite-bodied car. "We got this car in the off season and have spent a lot of time on it," he said. "We just want to go out and run the race and put it on the trailer in one piece. I am pretty sure you won't see me in one of those big wrecks here this week. We're going to take it very easy with this car."

Many teams elected not to draft in practice yesterday, instead focusing on single-car runs. That protects the primary car by lowering the risk of an accident, but it also jumbles up the leaderboard. Several teams that are expected to be contenders to win the race were back in the teens and 20s on the chart, including Travis Braden and Joe Graf, Jr., and eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart.

Daytona International Speedway offers track tours throughout the week, and one group of tourists received an unexpected surprise yesterday when Bobby Gerhart and Harrison Burton popped outside the gates to say hello. They took selfies with several fans and answered questions for the couple of minutes before the tour continued. "It's great to get out there and talk to some fans like that," Burton said. "Who knows, maybe in a few minutes like that you make a fan that follows you for the rest of your career."


Nice of Bobby Gerhart & Harrrison Burton to take the time for the fans.