NASCAR: Skinner Records Fastest Speed as Night Testing Opens at Daytona
9 June 1998
Skinner, who won the pole for the 1997 Daytona 500 and 1997 Pepsi 400, was clocked at 47.420 seconds, an average speed of 189.873 mph in the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet.
For Daytona Beach resident Mark Martin, racing under the lights at Daytona is going to be a spectacular experience. "I didn't expect to ever race under the lights at Daytona," said Martin. "To start with, I didn't think that it could be done. I would much rather figure out how to make a race car go 200 mph than figure out how to light Daytona. To see the track lit was exciting, absolutely spectacular.
"I expect this track to be at night what it is like in February during the Daytona 500 during the day, rather than like it has been like during the day in July. The testing that we are doing over the next three days is going to be a good test of the track and air temperatures, and it will also help us to check on the lighting to make sure everything is working perfectly.
"I think the feeling that you get at night is more exciting, it's the whole atmosphere. The light pops off of the cars, everything looks fast, and the temperatures are cooler. It reminds me of when I went to high school football games, it was always really exciting. When the sparks start flying on the Fourth of July, it's going to be real exciting for the fans."
The test continues today (Tuesday) from 3:30-10:30 p.m. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open daily at no charge with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided Speedway Tours are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee.
NASCAR WINSTON CUP TEST SPEEDS -- June 8* NO DRIVER SPEED NO DRIVER SPEED 31 Mike Skinner 189.873 28 Loy Allen 187.110 98 Rich Bickle 188.679 40 Sterling Marlin 186.335 6 Mark Martin 188.619 7 Geoff Bodine 184.805 96 Hut Stricklin 187.651 35 Todd Bodine 181.818 2 Rusty Wallace 187.500 15 Blaise Alexander 181.452 89 Dennis Setzer 187.262 07 Dan Pardus 179.641 * Electronic times taken randomly throughout the day.Editors Note: The images displayed in this article are available for larger viewing in The Racing Image Galleries and The Visions of Speed Art Gallery