Drivers that participated in both single-car runs and drafting sessions in the tire test were:
· Jamie McMurray (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)
· Kasey Kahne/Regan Smith (Hendrick Motorsports)
· Danica Patrick (Stewart Haas Racing)
· Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing)
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing)
· Michael McDowell (Joe Gibbs Racing)
· Trevor Bayne (Wood Brothers Racing
· Austin Dillon (Circle Sport)
· Carl Edwards (Roush Fenway Racing)
Drivers turned laps under the lights on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. while Wednesday’s session was during the daytime.
“Goodyear is looking for different compounds and different sidewall constructions and continue to learn about this race track and these cars and tires,” said Biffle, who won the Coke Zero 400 back in 2003. “That’s why we’re here is to help Goodyear and it gives us a chance to learn some stuff, get some data, try a few things to get ready for the summer race.”
Patrick, driving the No. 10 Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing, is coming off a successful Budweiser Speedweeks. She became the first woman to win a pole for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race during Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger. She followed that pole-winning run with an eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500.
She hopes to carry the momentum from Budweiser Speedweeks into the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6.
“It would be great to qualify on the pole again,” Patrick said. “It would be great to run up front and hopefully through testing today and getting ready for the Coke Zero 400 in July, I will be more prepared for the end of the race.”
Patrick expects the racing excitement at the “World Center of Racing” to continue to improve for the 160-lap, 400-mile race under the lights.
“I feel like you’ll see an even more exciting race in the summer just because it will be hotter, maybe a little bit more slippery,” Patrick said. “Maybe we will actually get uncomfortable out there and everybody got a feel for the way this car performs in a pack (in February).
“I found myself trying some things out there in practice just to get a better feel for when you take chances. I wasn’t really in position to take chances in the race. Doing it out there in practice is good. Everybody is going to learn and it will make the racing better.”
The Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola kicks off with the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 5. The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take center stage with the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6.
Tickets for all the events that are part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.