Rain Washes Out First Day of Testing
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin on January 9, 2014 | 3:28 P.M. EST
Persistent rain showers washed out the first day of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Persistent rain showers washed out Thursday's test session at Daytona International Speedway, the opening day of Preseason Thunder.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will now attempt to get on track tomorrow at 9 a.m. (ET) with teams working through the scheduled lunch break. Friday's final session was originally slated to conclude at 5 p.m., but a stop time has not been set.
All the drivers were anxious to get back on track at Daytona, including six-time defending Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who became the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to win the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same season last year.
"Wish I was on the racetrack, like I'm sure everybody else does, burning some gasoline and learning about our race cars," Johnson said. "But Mother Nature has a different plan for us today, I guess.
"But it's great to be back. There is no other sensation when you come into a racetrack like there is here. So driving through the tunnel and popping out in turn four and looking around and realizing you're here is always a great way to start the season."
NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace was scheduled to drive Brad Keselowski's Ford today, but will now have to wait to make his first laps in the No. 2 for Team Penske since 2005.
"I honestly think it's going to help my television stuff, being more active in a car and being more relevant when it comes to that," Wallace said.
"I walk the garages a lot as everybody knows, I talk to a lot of the crew guys, and to actually get in the car and drive it, the new Gen-6 car with the new updates, is something I'm real proud to do. I just wish the rain would stop so I could get out there and get it done."
All the Fan Fest activities are still planned for tonight.