DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., – NASCAR Nationwide Series teams wrapped up a historic two-day test with the new car on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway.
For the past two days, more than 20 drivers have been shaking down the new car, which will make its competition debut in the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola on Friday night, July 2, part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola.
Joining the test on Wednesday was Roush Fenway’s Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Joey Logano, who topped the morning speed chart with a speed of 186.227 mph in the No. 20 Toyota.
During the lunch break, Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ford Mustang, talked about the challenges in finding the right setup on the new car.
“If we can get the cars tuned a little better, if we can spend the rest of today getting the balance better and then maybe that test day or that practice day on Wednesday before we come and work on the cars a little more, hopefully they'll be a little bit more predictable,” Edwards said. “But right now it's wild. Brendan Gaughan and I were talking, it's like the 2003 Truck race when it was my first one, and they're just a handful. So it's going to be pretty exciting.”
Diamond Waltrip Racing’s Trevor Bayne’s test session experienced a setback on Tuesday with an engine fire on his No. 99 Toyota Camry. But the team has gotten the car back on track and he echoed Edwards’ comments in regards on the handling.
“We missed out on a lot of practice time yesterday in the draft, so we kind of started at square one today where everybody else had already had laps and kind of dialed their cars in,” Bayne said. “I heard all the drivers in the garage, even Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, saying things are loose, so I'm like, ‘All right, they must be pretty loose’ and I got out there and saw for myself, and they are sideways.
“So we've been working on it. I think we're a couple steps behind just because we didn't get that practice yesterday, but we're dialing it in pretty good now.”
Teams experienced the Daytona draft in Wednesday’s afternoon session with an 18 to 20 car pack.
“This afternoon, most of the teams came out to do a large drafting run,” said Joe Balash, NASCAR Nationwide Series director. “We had most of the cars that were here go out and take turns leading the pack, running the inside lane and outside lane, trying to work their way up through the field. I think we’ve got a lot of adjustments left in the car. We had differing comments from the drivers as I’ve walked through the garage and talked to them. To some drivers, the cars are loose and to some they were tight during the drafting session. I think we’re headed in the right direction with everything that we’ve got going on in the test session. We’ll be ready when we get back down here in July.”
Fastest in the afternoon session was Reed Sorenson in the No. 32 Toyota at a speed of 187.817 mph. Rounding out the top five were Kevin Harvick (186.928), Mike Wallace (186.170), Bayne (186.035) and Kyle Busch (186.027).
For tickets to the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola or any of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.