Patrick Goes Drafting
December 19, 2009 | 8:01 P.M. EST
Patrick, among more than 60 drivers participating in ARCA Testing this weekend, worked with crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. for the duration of Saturday's full day test session to prepare for her stock car racing debut-the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA race at Daytona Int'l Speedway on February 6 (live on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern).
"These cars are different then the cars I'm used to driving," said Patrick, who was 19th in the Saturday afternoon session. "You can run so much closer and you can crossover. You can't do that in the cars I drive. I got comfortable. Today was good. Tomorrow will be better."
Eury Jr. met with the media after Patrick's first drafting session.
"She's doing really good," said Eury. "Drafting is not something that you learn overnight. She has done really good learning how to stay in a pack, learning what the car does in different aero situations. We're pretty pleased. I think I need a little more speed in the car just in single car runs. Overall, it has been a good successful day. We'll come back here tomorrow and let her draft a little bit more and I think we will be game on."
The draft also produced the fastest speeds of the day with a trio of Venturini Motorsports drivers-Mikey Kile, Steve Arpin and Alli Owens--comprising the top-three positions on the speed charts.
"We found a lot of stuff today and a lot of speed," said Kile, fastest overall with a 49.164 second/183.061 mph lap. "We tried a lot of different packages in single car runs and here at the end of the day was our first drafting session. We had an awesome day...the team had an awesome day."
Kile's teammates, Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin and local, Daytona Beach, Florida, native Alli Owens, posted identical times (49.192 seconds/182.957 mph) while pushing Kile around the 2.5-mile track.
Defending race winner James Buescher, in a Phoenix Racing Toyota, was fourth fastest in the Saturday afternoon drafting session, followed by Brandon McReynolds in Eddie Sharp's No. 2 Toyota.
There were two cautions during Saturday's testing, both for single car incidents. Tim George, Jr., in an RCR Chevrolet, spun in turns three and four with one half hour remaining during the session, sustaining right side damage to his ARCA Racing Series racecar. The second and final caution occurred with less than 20 minutes remaining in the test day for a single car spin by Penske Development driver Dakoda Armstrong. There was no damage.
The ARCA Racing Series will return to Daytona International Speedway for a third and final day of testing Sunday. Much like Saturday's schedule, Sunday morning will feature single car runs while teams will have the option to draft on Sunday afternoon.