Daytona Test Schedule Announced
December 14, 2002 | 5:03 P.M. EST
So now it's time to look ahead to next season. First up on the 2003 calendar will be January testing at Daytona International Speedway followed by Speedweeks and the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 16.
"I usually take two weeks off and then it's like I'm ready for Daytona," said Bobby Hamilton Jr., who competes in the Busch Series with Team Rensi. "I can't wait to get home for two weeks (after Miami) and I got a list of things that I want to do, but after that, I don't know what to do. Usually after Thanksgiving, I'm ready to go.
"Of course, you look forward to going to Daytona because it's new and a fresh start. You got tons of hopes and dreams that you'll win so many races and post so many top fives. Everybody is so upbeat. It's always fun to leave whatever situation now or whatever the mood is whether it's good or bad. When you come back next year, it's always 100 percent better."
On Thursday, Jan. 3, the Grand American Road Racing Association will kick off testing at the "World Center of Racing" for a three-day Rolex Sports Car Series test in preparation for the 41th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Feb. 1-2.
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams will test for Speedweeks 2003 and the 45th annual Daytona 500 during two different sessions.
On Jan. 7-9, the teams that finished in the odd-numbered owner's points standings in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will test on the 2.5-mile tri-oval with Jan. 10 serving as a rain date.
Among the drivers expected to be in that session are Stewart, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, Steve Park and Jamie McMurray.
On Jan. 14-16, the even-numbered teams in the owner's standings will test with Jan. 17 serving as a rain date.
Leading the group of drivers in that group are Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Sterling Marlin, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bill Elliott.
On Jan. 11-13, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will prep for the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 season-opening event on Feb. 14 while on Jan. 18-19, the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series will test for the Feb. 9 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150.
The NASCAR Busch Series teams that finished in the odd-numbered spots in the owner's points standings will test on Jan. 20-21 in preparation for the Feb. 15 Koolerz 300 with Jan. 22 serving as a rain date. On Jan. 23-24, the even-numbered Busch Series teams will test with Jan. 25 serving as a rain date.
Oldfield Grandstand access is free and open to the public during testing with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2003 events can be purchased online or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.
Session No. 1 Jan. 7-9
Here's a list of some of the odd number finishing positions in 2001 owners point standings that are eligible to test on Jan. 7-9 at Daytona International Speedway:
No. 20 Chevrolet, Tony Stewart
No. 97 Ford, Kurt Busch
No. 48 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson
No. 2 Dodge, Rusty Wallace
No. 17 Ford, Matt Kenseth
No. 38 Ford, Elliott Sadler
No. 99 Ford, Jeff Burton
No. 15 Chevrolet, Michael Waltrip
No. 18 Chevrolet, Bobby Labonte
No. 77 Ford, Dave Blaney
No. 10 Pontiac, Johnny Benson
No. 45 Dodge, Kyle Petty
No. 5 Chevrolet, Terry Labonte
No. 41 Dodge, Casey Mears
No. 1 Chevrolet, Steve Park
No. 4 Pontiac, Mike Skinner
No. 42 Dodge, Jamie McMurray
Session 2: Jan. 14-16
Here's a list of some of the even number finishing positions in 2001 owners point standings that are eligible to test on Jan. 14-16 at Daytona International Speedway:
No. 6 Ford, Mark Martin
No. 24 Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon
No. 12 Dodge, Ryan Newman
No. 40 Dodge, Sterling Marlin
No. 88 Ford, Dale Jarrett
No. 8 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
No. 9 Dodge, Bill Elliott
No. 32 Pontiac, Ricky Craven
No. 30 Chevrolet, Jeff Green
No. 31 Chevrolet, Robby Gordon
No. 29 Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick
No. 21 Ford, Ricky Rudd
No. 22 Dodge, Ward Burton
No. 19 Dodge, Jeremy Mayfield
No. 43 Dodge, John Andretti
No. 23 Dodge, Kenny Wallace
No. 25 Chevrolet, Joe Nemechek
No. 11 Ford, Brett Bodine