After three sessions through a day-and-a-half of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, more and more teams began testing the drafting waters during the four-hour afternoon session on Friday. Some 22 cars drafted in a relatively large pack for at least a time during the session, with Trevor Bayne and Joey Logano posting the fastest laps of the session, and testing, overall, to that point, with lap speeds that approached the 200 mph mark. Bayne’s fastest lap on Friday afternoon was clocked at 199.650 mph, with Logano turning in a fast lap speed of 199.309. Martin Truex Jr. had the third-fastest lap speed of the session at 199.212 mph.
But with drafting came carnage. After Dave Blaney and Greg Biffle each experienced single-car incidents, a chain-reaction wreck involved 12 cars after Dale Earnhardt Jr. attempted, unsuccessfully, to push Marcos Ambrose.
“I was just going to give him (Ambrose) a push down the back straightaway and see if he could get the lead,” Earnhardt said. “I was trying to, eventually, get the lead, myself. We got off the back straightaway and were just kind of pushing him along there and our cars sort of just didn’t match up very well. I got him hooked into the fence. I pushed Martin (Truex Jr.) a little bit in his Toyota and they matched up good. The bumpers were good, didn’t have any problem with any of the cars. That is the first time I pushed a Ford.”
Other drivers caught up in the incident included Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Logano, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Jeff Gordon, among others.
Of those who didn’t participate in the drafting activity, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton had the fastest cars. Harvick turned in the 23rd-fastest speed of 193.150. Kenseth was 24th with a fast lap at 193.108, and Burton’s speed 193.025 was 25th-fastest.
Testing continues and concludes on Saturday with a three-hour morning session and four-hour afternoon session. Below, is a rundown of the fastest lap speeds during the Friday afternoon session: