Veteran Greg Stewart took part in just two of the three practice sessions on Friday afternoon. The team used the last session to work on replacing the rear-end in his #33 machine.
“We just thought we should take the time and get this done tonight since we didn’t want to spend the time on it on Saturday morning,” said Stewart. “We didn’t know what the scheduled would be like today, so we just thought we would take the time and do it. That’s so, tomorrow (Saturday), we can take the time to work on getting the car in good during practice.”
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN
Rain is in the forecast for much of Georgia on and off on Saturday and Sunday, but the rain will be patchy at best.
“Aw man, rain at the race track sucks,” said SS Racing’s Davin Scites. “I guess if it would be like this (Friday’s weather) on Saturday, that would be ok. I’d rather be able to get this race in than have to come back here later in the year.”
Very light rain (some might call it a heavy mist) fell at several different times throughout the day on Friday during the open test session. The schedule had to be pushed back on a couple of occasions, but all three practice sessions were completed.
USING THE BAD CAR
Unlike at the speedways, Cywinski (#1) lead his teammate Joey Miller #15).
Kevin Cywinski was one of a couple of drivers to test two different cars on Friday, something allowed during an open ASA test session. Cywinski had both of his cars, each with a different setup, out on the track for a number of laps and will, surprisingly, use the car that was slower of the two.
“This car will be better in the long run, it just doesn’t qualify very well,” said Cywinski, pointing to his slower of the two cars. “We don’t need the car that will go faster on a couple of laps, but the car that will be better for the long haul. Both of our cars are good, so I’m not thinking that this is the slowed of the two. We build some pretty good stuff up there in Minnesota.”
Greg Stewart was quick, but took time out of his day to change rear-ends in the #33.
Surprisingly, ASA veteran Rick Beebe turned the fastest lap on Friday afternoon in practice. Beebe’s laps was nearly one-tenth a second faster than the second-place car of Doug Stevens. However, Beebe’s lap did come on sticker tires.
Stevens was strong all day long, finishing with the second-quickest lap of the day, with rookie Stephen Leicht third. Mike Cope, who indicated there is plenty more speed in his car, was the fourth fastest and Toby Porter was the fifth quick.
51 cars were at the track on Friday. Greg Williams was the only regular competitor that wasn’t at the track on Friday, while 2002 champion Joey Clanton was also absent.
In the final practice session of the day, the top-40 cars were separate by less than three-tenths of a second. Beebe’s fastest lap was a 14.275 seconds. The 40th-place car, that of Kris Stump, ran a lap 14.644 seconds.
GARVEY ABSENT FROM ATLANTA
Mike Garvey was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, but he was there just watching rather than driving.
The track was crowded all day long, many times three-wide, with 51 cars on the site.
“There was no real reason to go you know,” said Garvey. “It costs a lot of money to test after you buy tires and this and that. We have our car setup and ready for Kentucky and with a short week before we head up there to Kentucky (the Kentucky race is this Friday), it didn’t really make sense for us to go up there. Our car is ready to go.
“We will test at Lowe’s (Motor Speedway) and we will take that and apply it toward Atlanta. Hell, we don’t race there until the end of the year, so we have plenty of time to get ready for Atlanta.”
A TIRED, TIRED MAN
Chad Wood showed up to Lanier and was ready to get a break from reality, which would come while sitting behind the wheel.
Wood’s team, Wood Brothers Racing, again has three cars entered in this weekend’s event, with Wood driving the #2, rookie Travis Dassow in the #72 and ProCup veteran Steven Christian in the #42. That is a lot of cars to prepare for Wood, who works in the shop with only the help of a couple part-time guys.
“We were up until 1 am every morning this week making sure all of these cars were ready so I am pretty tires as you can bet,” said Wood. “We had to put a new front clip on the #42 and a new rear clip on the #72, so we have been working pretty hard. We didn’t have the #42 car ready until we were getting ready to leave. It has been tough and tiring.
“Renting cars out is a great thing, but man, it wears you out.”
Mike Garvey's #17
THE YOUNGEST EVER?
Without proper records, Speed51.com thinks that possible the youngest ASA competitor ever turned laps on Friday at Lanier.
Georgian Joey Logano, born in May of 1990, was 15th fastest in Friday’s practice.
The 13-year-old has found considerable success in Legends over the past few years and finished third in his first-career Southern All Stars race earlier this year.