Gordon Records Fastest Speed as GM Teams Close Test at Daytona
16 January 1998
Gordon was clocked at 47.580 seconds, an average speed of 189.155 mph, in one of two Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlos that he drove on the day. Darrell Waltrip, who is entering his 26th season on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, is optimistically looking ahead to a successful Speedweeks.
"This is as good as I have tested at Daytona in a good while," said Waltrip. "I have a lot of new people, trying a lot of new things, and fortunately most of them seem to be working out pretty well. We're pretty optimistic, we haven't really leaned on her to hard yet.
"You want to have a good solid ten days down here. We're in the qualifying race for the Bud Shootout, maybe we'll get lucky and win it and move into the second race. I just want to be real competitive, able to run with the lead pack and have a car that is comfortable to drive. I spent a lot of years down here winning qualifying races, Busch Series races and everything else. Your focus has to be the Daytona 500. Everything you do when you're here at the race track, whether it be qualifying races or preliminary events, you have to be thinking how your car is going to be after 500 miles. Sometimes I may look like I'm not doing much in some of these preliminary events, but I'm really getting a lot of data so we will be ready come Daytona 500 time."
The busy schedule of pre-season testing at the Speedway continues tomorrow as teams from the NASCAR Busch Series begin a three-day test in preparation for the NAPA Auto Parts 300 (Feb. 14). 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.
GENERAL MOTORS TEST SPEEDS -- Jan. 14* NO DRIVER/CAR SPEED NO DRIVER/CAR SPEED 24 Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet 189.155 96 David Green/Chevrolet 187.200 40 Sterling Marlin/Chevrolet 189.119 1 Steve Park/Chevrolet 186.931 4 Bobby Hamilton/Chevrolet 189.044 44 Kyle Petty/Pontiac 186.749 36 Ernie Irvan/Pontiac 188.830 8 Hut Stricklin/Chevrolet 186.722 33 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 188.778 46 Wally Dallenbach/Chevrolet186.718 30 Derrike Cope/Pontiac 188.762 41 Steve Grissom/Chevrolet 186.355 3 Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet 188.620 71 Dave Marcis/Chevrolet 186.258 43 John Andretti/Pontiac 188.359 22 Ward Burton/Pontiac 185.950 42 Joe Nemechek/Chevrolet 187.990 73 Phil Barkdohl/Chevrolet 185.640 29 Jeff Green/Chevrolet 187.837 91 Kevin LePage/Chevrolet 185.594 17 Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet 187.426 35 Todd Bodine/Pontiac 184.596 50 Ricky Craven/Chevrolet 187.348 07 Dan Pardus/Chevrolet 183.038 * Electronic times taken throughout the day's practice sessionEditors Note: The images displayed in this article (plus many more) can be viewed in the Racing Image Galleries from The Callahan Racing Page.