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Childress brings both teams to Daytona test
The Earnhardt Connection - '99 News

Daytona Beach Beach, Fla. (Jan. 6, 1998) -- Richard Childress is so eager to win a Winston Cup championship in his 30th season of NASCAR Winston Cup racing that he jumped at the opportunity to test his two-car team Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway.

"I'm having a lot of fun today," said Childress, who fields Chevrolets for drivers Dale Earnhardt and Mike Skinner. "It's kind of like getting a fix off the smell of the fuel, tires and the engine."

But it wasn't just a day at the beach. There was plenty of work to be done in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500, Feb. 14.

Six teams took advantage of the first General Motors test of the season at Daytona. Along with the two teams of Childress, drivers Ken Schrader, Stanton Barrett, Glenn Morgan and Larry Pearson tested during the first day of the two-day test.

Schrader had the fastest lap during testing with a speed of 189.893 mph. General Motors testing continues Thursday. A portion of the grandstands is open free to the public during testing at Daytona.

The GM teams will be back at Daytona Jan. 19-20 for one of NASCAR's mandatory tests. Under the new NASCAR testing policy, each team has seven test dates, with only three being an option.

"The Daytona 500 is such an important race that this is one of the places we would want to burn a test because when you come back for the open test there will be 30 or 40 teams here and you are going to be limited to the practice you get," Childress said.

"Today we're having a wonderful test. That was the reason for burning one test. We are looking at this like we were only going to get one test here.

"The next test might be 30 percent productive because of the number of cars. You'll have all the GM teams. This is a good wide, open test for us. It's going real good. Both cars are running good. We're about where we wanted to be, of course you always want to be faster. We're pretty close."

Instead of using his regular drivers - Earnhardt in the Goodwrench Chevrolet and Mike Skinner in the Lowe's Chevrolet - Childress had Mike Dillon in Earnhardt's ride and Dave Marcis filling in for Skinner, who is nearly 70 percent recovered from recent knee surgery.

"If it was anywhere but Daytona or Talladega you'd have to have your regular drivers," Childress said. "But here you go out and get a system of how you're going to go out on the track and get a line you're going to run every time.

"Each driver is within two feet of where they should be on the race track. The repeatability is good. We'll bring both the other drivers when we come back so they can get a good feel for the cars."

Speedweeks 99 begins Jan. 30-31 with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, followed by the stock-car portion of Speedweeks beginning Feb. 5.

For Speedweeks ticket information call (904) 253-7223.

Speeds from Wednesday's GM test at Daytona International Speedway

Car No.    Make     Driver                    Speed
33A         Chev.      Ken Schrader       189.893 
31A         Chev.      Dave Marcis         189.211
3T           Chev.      Mike Dillon           188.052
3D           Chev.      Mike Dillon           187.813
33           Chev.       Ken Schrader       187.590
00           Pont.       Larry Pearson       187.231
84           Chev.       Stanton Barrett     186.548
31B         Chev.       Dave Marcis         184.456
45           Chev.       Glen Morgan         184.068