NASCAR Drivers Benny Gordon and Chad McCumbee Top ARCA Draft Speeds
Wednesday afternoon's test session for the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona International Speedway marked the first draft session as the other three sessions were just comprised of single car runs.
The highest speeds were set in the final hour as five cars set out to draft tightly together.
Benny Gordon topped the list with a lap of 48.414 seconds (185.897 seconds) to top the list. Gordon is looking to make his first ARCA Racing Series start after running some races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"We have, obviously, a really good car right now," Gordon told the ARCA Racing Network. "We did a lot of qualifying runs the first thing this morning and the car's pretty decent by itself, but the car's extremely fast in the draft. We hung around that top 10 in qualifying trim and qualifying runs, but in the draft it was really good."
He just edged Chad McCumbee, who had a lap of 48.427 seconds (185.847 mph). McCumbee also had some NASCAR experience in the Camping World Truck Series and also has some previous starts in the ARCA Series. In the final five races of last season, he finished in the top 10 in all of those starts.
"It's so far, so good," McCumbee said. "The Andy Belmont Racing guys have really worked over the offseason and we've brought in some new people. The first couple days working with (crew chief) Wayne Carroll have been great. We're still off from where we'd like to be, obviously. We've got some more to do that we haven't shown."
Other drivers who were in that draft were Ty Dillion, Sean Corr and Joey Licata Jr. They were followed on the charts by Chad Hackenbracht, Hal Martin, Kyle Fowler, and Steve Arpin. The speeds for the top nine were all higher than what has been seen so far, which is expected due to draft speeds always being higher.
IndyCar Driver Milka Duno rounded out the top 10, matching her previous best mark of 48.673 seconds.
Other notables include six-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart, who finished the session 25th, while nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel elected not to participate in the afternoon session. Kimmel wasn't the only one opting out as many drivers did not participate or chose to make single-car runs.
In all, 39 drivers turned laps in 42 different cars in the afternoon session.
Open testing for teams and drivers will conclude Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Only single-car runs will be allowed in the morning, and drafting will be permitted in the afternoon.