DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official release – ARCA photo —
Bobby Gerhart, an eight-time winner at Daytona Int’l Speedway, put up the fastest speed at Thursday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards practice.
Gerhart needed just 10 laps to turn the fastest lap of the day.
Gerhart, in a Chevrolet, turned his best lap in 188.945 mph, just a tick better than Matt Kurzejewski, who was second fastest at 188.849 mph, also in a Chevrolet.
Bo LeMastus and Blake Jones, both in Dodges, were third and fourth fastest with Derrick Lancaster, in a Chevorlet, completing the top five. Clay Campbell was sixth in a Chevrolet while the fastest Toyotas on the board were Daniel Suarez in seventh and Frank Kimmel in eighth. Tom Hessert (Dodge) and Will Kimmel (Ford) completed the top 10.
Forty-six of the 49 cars on the entry list made at least a lap during practice.
Thursday’s two-hour practice session featured single car runs, drafting and – at times – two- and three-wide maneuvering on the 2.5-mile tri-oval superspeedway.
There were no on-track incidents during the session. In the final seconds, however, Patrick Starapoli’s No. 82 Empire Racing Ford slowed on the front stretch, bringing out the caution. Crews from the No. 9 Ford of Thomas Praytor and No. 88 Ford of Cole Powell both began changing motors after the practice session.
Eleven of the top 13 speeds were turned by cars utilizing the new ARCA Ilmor 396 engine package. Kurzejewski had the fastest car with an ARCA Ilmor 396.
The final practice session will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Speeds from the two sessions will be combined to determine the order for group qualifying at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone will go green about 4:20 p.m. Saturday.
CREDIT: ARCA Racing Series