NASCAR Launches its 2014 Seasons with Preseason Thunder Tests
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) drivers set the tone for the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), Nationwide Series (NNS) and Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) seasons during Daytona International Speedway Preseason Thunder test sessions Jan. 9-14.
NSCS Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon brought the iconic No. 3 car back to the track in style by leading the only series test session with a 195.109 mph lap. His RCR test teammates Brian Scott and Matt Crafton were a respective second and third on chart with 194.582 mph and 194.342 mph circuits. Testing was limited to one day due to rain in the Sunshine State.
NNS drivers tested new car cooling systems introduced to eliminate tandem drafting. Eighteen-year-old Turner Scott Motorsports driver Dylan Kwasniewski charted the quickest session lap at 190.022 mph. Fellow 18-year-old Chase Elliott and his father, 1998 Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, shook down JR Motorsports rides. Chase Elliott was second on the speed chart with a 189.950 mph lap that was four one-thousandths of a second quicker that his famous father's best lap.
Young NCWTS stars quickly found speed with new truck body designs. Twenty-year-old Jeb Burton turned the quickest series lap at 191.144 mph. His Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Ben Kennedy was second-fastest with a 190.925 mph circuit.
The 56th NSCS Daytona 500 is set to take the green flag Sunday, Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway. The NNS begins its season with a 300-mile race Saturday, Feb. 22 at the venue and the NCWTS opens its season with a 250-race at the track Friday, Feb. 21.
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