Rick Mast Quickest In Daytona Ford Practice
7 January 1998
Mast was clocked at 47.993 seconds, for an average speed of 187.527 mph, as the new Ford Taurus made its much anticipated debut at the "World Center of Racing."
Kenny Irwin, who joins Robert Yates Racing as the driver of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus for the 1998 season, is eagerly awaiting his first Speedweeks at Daytona.
"I was down at Daytona five or six years ago working on a NASCAR Busch Series team with Kenny Wallace, and just being at Daytona was cool," said Irwin, who posted the second quickest lap on the day of 48.086 seconds, for an average speed of 187.165 mph. "But being down here as a driver is awesome.
"We tested the new Taurus at Talladega a few weeks ago, but because we were working mostly on the templates, we really didn't get a good feel for where we were. But once we leave Daytona after the next three days, we will have a better idea of how good the Taurus is. It's just going to take time and a lot of hard work, but the guys on this team are dedicated to make the Taurus fast. My expectations are high for the Daytona 500, I can't wait for the race. I wish it was next weekend." The Ford NASCAR Winston Cup test continues tomorrow. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open daily at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided tours of the Speedway are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee.
FORD TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 6*
NO DRIVER/CAR TIME SPEED 75 Rick Mast/Ford Taurus 47.993 187.527 mph 28 Kenny Irwin/Ford Taurus 48.086 187.165 59 Mark Gibson/Ford Thunderbird 48.291 186.370 77 Robert Pressley/Ford Thunderbird 48.301 186.332 9 Lake Speed/Ford Taurus 48.491 185.601 2 Rusty Wallace/Ford Taurus 48.685 184.862 90 Dick Trickle/Ford Thunderbird 49.068 183.419 15 Tim Steele/Ford Thunderbird 49.154 183.098 37 Jeremy Mayfield/Ford Taurus 49.265 182.685 * Electronic times taken throughout the day's practice sessions.
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