Saturday was sort of a sad day at Daytona International Speedway, for the last of a two-day ARCA test, for several reasons: One was the presence of a Joe Gibbs Racing hauler, there for Ty Gibbs, 15-year-old grandson of Gibbs and the nephew of Joe’s son J.D., who lost his battle with a degenerative nerve disease at age 49.

Another was the just-announced layoffs at NASCAR, which owns ARCA, a steppingstone to NASCAR. And, of course, NASCAR is reportedly buying ISC, which owns Daytona, so even the guards at the test were wondering about their future.

And finally, teams and racers worried about the winter storm that was approaching North Carolina, where many are based, led to early departures -- at the end, only a handful of cars were left at the track as testing wound down.

A total of 43 drivers, many of them sharing cars, took time on the 2.5-mile tri-oval over the course of the two days. Last year's General Tire Pole Award winner Natalie Decker (No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota) led the way on Saturday, turning the fastest lap of the day in the morning session at 181.921 miles per hour. Gus Dean (No. 32 Win-Tron Racing Chevrolet) was second fastest at 181.866 miles per hour, Dave Mader III was third at 181.855 miles per hour, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet) fourth at 181.800 miles per hour, and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) rounded out the top five at 181.789 miles per hour.

Andy Seuss (No. 02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet), Codie Rohrbaugh (No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet), Brandon McReynolds (No. 28 KBR Development Chevrolet), Corey Heim (No. 22 Chad Bryant Racing Ford), and Scott Melton (No. 69 Melton-McFaddin Agency Ford) rounded out the top 10 on Saturday.

C.J. McLaughlin (No. 09 Our Motorsports Chevrolet) led Saturday's afternoon session at 180.538 miles per hour, in front of Thad Moffit (No. 46 Empire Racing Chevrolet), Branden Queen (No. 36 Vizion Motorsports Toyota), Sean Corr (No. 43 Empire Racing Chevrolet) and Seuss.

The weekend’s top speeds were turned in my the two female drivers of the 43, as Decker was fastest Saturday and Leilani Munter (No. 55 What The Health Toyota) turning the fastest lap of the weekend at 184.064 miles per hour on Friday. Daytona veteran Munter and her Venturini Motorsports teammates Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota), Harrison Burton (No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota) and defending race winner Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) worked together in the draft to set the fastest speeds of the weekend.

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway is set for Saturday, February 9 and will be televised live on FS1 starting at 4:30 pm ET. ARCA for Me members can follow every on-track session throughout the week with live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates. New users can register for free at arcaracing.com/login.

Source: Autoweek

January 13, 2019