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Preseason Thunder Kicked Off on Thursday with Joe Gibbs Racing Pacing the Two Practice Sessions

January 10th, 2013 at 8:44 PM
By Mark Eddinger

Day one of three of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway took place for the NASCAR Spritn Cup Series on Thursday in two sessions. In the morning practice only single car runs were made around the 2.5 mile racetrack, however, in the afternoon session four cars hooked up in a draft to turn the fastest laps of the day.

Matt Kenseth in his first run with Joe Gibbs Racing around Daytona turned the fastest lap in the morning session with a speed of 192.757 mph in his No. 20 Toyota. He was followed by Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard in the top five. Casey Mears in his Germain Racing Ford ran the most laps in the morning session with 31 total laps turned. He was 28th fastest of the 34 cars to practice. Check out the morning session speeds here

'IMG_5703' photo (c) 2011, Parker Anderson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In the afternoon session four Toyotas hooked up in a draft and turned the four fastest laps. Denny Hamlin in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 car was the fastest in that draft at a speed of 195.712 mph. He also ran 38 laps which was the most of the session of any of the 34 cars. He was followed in the draft by his teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch as well as Mark Martin in his No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. They all also turned a lap greater than 195 mph. Jeff Burton was the fastest of the cars that were not in a draft followed by Paul Menard, Danica Patrick and Marcos Ambrose once again, which was similar to the morning session. Afternoon speeds can be seen here.

“It was a pretty smooth day,” said NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton. “With many single-car runs going on, it was more important for the teams to just get time. We’re really looking forward to getting some drafting practice in tomorrow. Today was relatively uneventful. I think we anticipated the speeds to be as good as they were. Everything looks like it’s fine.”

On Friday, which will be day two of Preseason Thunder, there will be two more practice sessions followed by the final two sessions on Saturday.

Tags: Casey Mears, Danica Patrick, Daytona International Speedway, Denny Hamlin, Germain Racing, Jeff Burton, Joe Gibbs Racing, Marcos Ambrose, Mark Martin, matt kenseth, Motorsports, Paul Menard, Toyota

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