ARCA Daytona Test Wraps Up
Buescher and Lia Are Quick, Kimmel Tries Out New Car, Speed is Up to Speed and More
For the third consecutive day, morning showers delayed the start of on-track activity, but a two hour "single car" session kicked off the final day of the test, with Ryan Fischer setting the pace at 181.605 mph. Roush Fenway Racing teammates Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Eric Darnell were just off Fischer's pace, each toping the 181 mph mark.

The balance of the day was then dedicated to drafting practice, and when the final checkered flag fell to end the session, Country Joe Racing's James Buescher had run the fastest lap of the weekend, touring the 2.5 mile tri-oval at 182 mph-plus. Buescher, piloting the 2nd of two Kevin Cywinski/Mike Chaffee-prepared Dodge Chargers (#9) was fourth quick in the morning single car run.
The three-day ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Daytona International Speedway came to a conclusion at 5:00 pm Sunday evening, with 79 drivers and 68 racecars participating, and only one on-track incident. Through it all, James Buescher, the youngest winner in ARCA RE/MAX Series history, posted the quickest lap of the weekend.
Buescher's #9 in Daytona testing.  (ARCA / Don Bok Photo)
Donny Lia, who ran a partial ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule in 2006, was second quickest in the afternoon drafting session, posting a speed of 182.678 in the #92 Toyota.

Newcomer John Townley, in the #65 RAB Racing Dodge, was third fastest at 182.615 mph, with Stenhouse, Jr and Darnell rounding out the top five. A total of 35 cars took to the track during the afternoon drafting session.

Other notables from Sunday Afternoon:

   * Gabi DiCarlo - 16th...179.845
   * Scott Speed - 21st...179.072
   * Frank Kimmel - 26th...178.010

The ARCA RE/MAX Series will return to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon, February 9th, for the 45th running of the Daytona ARCA 200.

F1 DRIVER TAKES FIRST LAPS AT DAYTONA

Scott Speed's first visit to historic Daytona International Speedway was "very cool."
I've never been here before so it's very cool to see the home of stock car racing," said the former Formula 1 driver in town over the weekend for a three-day ARCA RE/MAX Series test session in preparation for the ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race on Feb. 9. "It's cool to see how close the track is to population.  Most tracks are in the middle of nowhere.  Not this one.  That's pretty cool."

Speed, who back in 2002 won the Red Bull Driver Search, a program aimed at putting an American talent into Formula One, is behind the wheel of the Red Bull Toyota Camry with Eddie Sharp Racing this weekend in preparation for February's ARCA 200.  In October, Speed tackled Talladega Superspeedway - his debut in a stock car as well as his first ever race on an oval track.  He qualified seventh and finished in the same position.
"Daytona is quite a bit more difficult to drive than Talladega especially in the draft because the track is a bit more bumpy, especially where the 2 tunnels are," the 24-year-old pointed out.  "I think in February you're going to see more of the guys that can drive better in the front of the pack as opposed to Talladega where they hang out in the back."

Either way, Speed is happy to get his time on the high banks in preparation for the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season-opener.

"Overall I'm happy and definitely excited to finally see Daytona and hold my own on the track," the California native said.  "It'll be cool to come back here in a couple of months and race."
KIMMEL'S SPEED SECRET

After the second day of testing, nine-time defending ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel unveiled the secret of going fast here at Daytona: 

"Get behind a Hendrick car and the car runs real fast," said Kimmel.  "But they won't let me qualify like that so we've got to get it better than that.  We're still tweaking and we'll be ready come February.  We've had a lot of success in the ARCA Series but it would be a thrill to win here.  You almost need to put a ‘Daytona Win" on your resume and what a thrill it would be to do that this year."

GERHART FEELING GOOD

Bobby Gerhart, who owns a record five ARCA 200 victories, gave a thumbs-up on his health during the final day of ARCA 200 testing.
Gerhart was diagnosed with a left brachial plexus injury and a T6 compression fracture after an accident at Pocono Raceway in early August. The injury cut short his season and he has been rehabbing with the goal of getting back in the driver's seat for this weekend's three-day test.

"I feel great," Gerhart said. "It's probably the best therapy that I could have. I'm in real good shape. I got a clean bill of health and I'm all healed up. I've been exercising. I've hired a trainer for about a month and a half. By February, I'll be better than I have in about 10 years. It just feels good to be back at Daytona and I'm looking forward to coming back for another good Speedweeks."
Gerhart will be shooting for his fourth straight ARCA 200 victory in February and says he plans to run the same Chevrolet that he used in the 2007 race.

"It's been a good test," Gerhart said. "The speeds haven't been up due to the weather we've got. That's always a little disheartening to everybody. It is what it is. You got to look at the big picture and just work within yourself."

Daytona Testing, ARCA RE/MAX Series 
Single Car Runs
   
Pos. No. Name Time Speed Make
1 25 Ryan Fischer 49.558 181.605 Chevy
2 99X Ricky Stenhouse Jr 49.565 181.580 Ford
3 99 Erik Darnell 49.657 181.243 Ford
4 9 James Buescher 49.886 180.411 Dodge
5 12B Mario Gosselin 49.954 180.166 Chevy
6 5 Bobby Gerhart 50.006 179.978 Chevy
7 30A Chad Blount 50.012 179.957 Dodge
8 32 Dominick Casola 50.120 179.569 Dodge
9 00A Ed Kennedy 50.182 179.347 Chevy
10 46 Matt Carter 50.191 179.315 Ford
11 31 Alex Yontz 50.206 179.261 Chevy
12 65A John Townley 50.223 179.201 Ford
13 94 Max Dumarey 50.283 178.987 Ford
14 5K Kyle Krisiloff 50.325 178.838 Chevy
15 3 Jeremy Clements 50.339 178.788 Chevy
16 74 JR Heffner 50.348 178.756 Chevy
17 72A John Jackson 50.389 178.610 Chevy
18 75D Brandon Knupp 50.419 178.504 Chevy
19 07 Michael Faulk 50.425 178.483 Dodge
20 37A Dexter Bean 50.432 178.458 Chevy
21 30B Steve Blackburn 50.439 178.433 Dodge
22 22 Ken Butler III 50.446 178.409 Toyota
23 40B Dario Franchitti 50.453 178.384 Dodge
24 12A Alli Owens 50.460 178.359 Chevy
25 11A Bryan Silas 50.464 178.345 Ford
26 30C Jesse Smith 50.473 178.313 Dodge
27 72 Andrew Ranger 50.481 178.285 Chevy
28 90 Gabi DiCarlo 50.486 178.267 Chevy
29 20 Pierre Bourque 50.517 178.158 Dodge
30 21 Chris Cockrum 50.526 178.126 Chevy
31 75A Scott Stenzel 50.532 178.105 Chevy
32 4A Tayler Malsam 50.540 178.077 Dodge
33 00B Danny Sammons 50.545 178.059 Chevy
34 45 Nur Ali 50.546 178.056 Dodge
35 60B Patrick Sheltra 50.568 177.978 Chevy
36 65 Robby Benton 50.592 177.894 Ford
37 28 Mike Annett 50.593 177.890 Toyota
38 44 Frank Kimmel 50.596 177.880 Dodge
39 61A Chase Austin 50.617 177.806 Chevy
40 2 Scott Speed 50.671 177.616 Toyota
41 1 Tom Hessert 50.701 177.511 Ford
42 7C Brent Cross 50.707 177.490 Chevy
43 19A David Green 50.730 177.410 Toyota
44 19 Jack Bailey 50.738 177.382 Toyota
45 87A Landon Cassill 50.751 177.336 Chevy
46 0A Butch Jarvis 50.769 177.274 Chevy
47 75B Benny Chastain 50.777 177.246 Chevy
48 21A Jeremy Petty 50.788 177.207 Chevy
49 1B Chad McCumbee 50.790 177.200 Ford
50 5B Trevor Sanborn 50.836 177.040 Chevy
51 71 Larry Hollenbeck 50.869 176.925 Chevy
52 13 Michael Phelps 50.883 176.876 Chevy
53 5A Brian Smith 51.030 176.367 Chevy
54 92 Donny Lia 51.035 176.350 Toyota
55 48 James Hylton 51.086 176.174 Dodge
56 01 Wayne Reutimann 51.152 175.946 Toyota
57 75C Michael Simko 51.251 175.606 Chevy
58 6 Brett Rowe 51.452 174.920 Chevy
59 5R Kory Rabenold 51.537 174.632 Chevy
60 68 Michelle Theriault 51.591 174.449 Chevy
61 92A Phillip McGilton 51.605 174.402 Toyota
62 59 Ray Mooi Jr 51.627 174.327 Chevy
63 38 Mike Harmon 52.150 172.579 Chevy
64 24 Michel Disdier 52.737 170.658 Chevy
65 1A Jake Francis 52.957 169.949 Ford
66 14 Jordan Bland 53.184 169.224 Ford
67 89 Russ Dugger 53.402 168.533 Chevy
68 89A Drew White 53.443 168.404 Chevy
69 83 Scotty Ellis 53.787 167.327 Chevy

Daytona Testing, ARCA RE/MAX Series
Drafting Speeds
   
Pos. No. Name Time Speed Make
1 9 James Buescher 49.191 182.960 Dodge
2 92 Donny Lia 49.267 182.678 Toyota
3 65A John Townley 49.284 182.615 Ford
4 99X Ricky Stenhouse Jr 49.351 182.367 Ford
5 99 Eric Darnell 49.405 182.168 Ford
6 61B Chase Austin 49.417 182.124 Chevy
7 37A Dexter Bean 49.451 181.998 Chevy
8 74 JR Heffner 49.497 181.829 Chevy
9 4A Tayler Malsam 49.727 180.988 Dodge
10 60B Patrick Sheltra 49.729 180.981 Chevy
11 11A Bryan Silas 49.730 180.977 Ford
12 20 Pierre Bourque 49.760 180.868 Dodge
13 07 Michael Faulk 49.779 180.799 Dodge
14 99 Eric Darnell 49.849 180.545 Ford
15 12A Alli Owens 49.988 180.043 Chevy
16 87A Landon Cassill 50.025 179.910 Chevy
17 90 Gabi DiCarlo 50.043 179.845 Chevy
18 44 Frank Kimmel 50.068 179.756 Dodge
19 5K Kyle Krisiloff 50.079 179.716 Chevy
20 12B Mario Gosselin 50.093 179.666 Chevy
21 2 Scott Speed 50.109 179.608 Toyota
22 72 Andrew Ranger 50.130 179.533 Chevy
23 71 Larry Hollenbeck 50.155 179.444 Chevy
24 32 Dominick Casola 50.267 179.044 Dodge
25 46 Matt Carter 50.281 178.994 Ford
26 22 Ken Butler III 50.322 178.848 Toyota
27 00A Ed Kennedy 50.355 178.731 Chevy
28 59 Ray Mooi Jr 50.400 178.571 Chevy
29 75D Brandon Knupp 50.400 178.571 Chevy
30 28 Mike Annett 50.505 178.200 Toyota
31 45 Nur Ali 50.532 178.105 Dodge
32 13 Michael Phelps 50.565 177.989 Chevy
33 5B Trevor Sanborn 50.639 177.729 Chevy
34 48 James Hylton 50.702 177.508 Dodge
35 72A John Jackson 50.705 177.497 Chevy
36 25 Ryan Fischer 50.753 177.329 Chevy
37 0A Butch Jarvis 50.757 177.315 Chevy
38 00B Danny Sammons 50.764 177.291 Chevy
39 19 Jack Bailey 50.770 177.270 Toyota
40 75A Scott Stenzel 50.770 177.270 Chevy
41 31 Alex Yontz 50.822 177.089 Chevy
42 01 Wayne Reutimann 50.836 177.040 Toyota
43 21 Chris Cockrum 50.851 176.988 Chevy
44 92A Phillip McGilton 50.877 176.897 Toyota
45 68 Michelle Theriault 50.929 176.717 Chevy
46 75C Michael Simko 51.020 176.401 Chevy
47 5A Brian Smith 51.052 176.291 Chevy
48 7C Brent Cross 51.187 175.826 Chevy
49 5R Kory Rabenold 51.473 174.849 Chevy
50 38 Mike Harmon 51.673 174.172 Chevy
51 6 Brett Rowe 52.021 173.007 Chevy
52 89 Russ Dugger 52.840 170.326 Chevy
53 24 Michel Disdier 53.605 167.895 Chevy
54 83 Scotty Ellis 56.169 160.231 Chevy






Scott Speed (R) talks with Dario Franchitti at the Daytona ARCA test.  (DIS Photo)
Kimmel's new #44 at Daytona.   (DIS Photo)
Bobby Gerhart's #5   (DIS Photo)