Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst (No. 18 Toyota) led the way in the opening two hours of ARCA Menards Series testing at Daytona International Speedway. The two-day open test is in preparation for ARCA’s season-opening Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire slated for Saturday, February 10.
Herbst’s fastest lap in the morning session was 50.528 seconds/178.119 miles per hour, nearly a half-second quicker than second-place Tanner Gray (No. 17 DGR-Crosley Ford). Gray, the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Division national champion, timed in at a speedy 50.962 seconds/176.602 miles per hour.
Veteran Dave Mader III (No. 63 Spraker Racing Chevrolet) timed in third quick at 51.094 seconds/176.146 miles per hour, while fellow Alabamian Bret Holmes (No. 23 BHR Chevrolet) was fourth at 51.103 seconds/176.11 miles per hour. Bounty Rookie of the Year contender Drew Dollar (No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota), who has taken over the ride Christian Eckes drove to the series title in 2019, was fifth quickest at 51.236 seconds/175.661 miles per hour.
Chad Bryant Racing teammates Connor Hall and Jacob Haefner both drove the organization’s No. 22 Ford to sixth and seventh on the speed chart, with Haefner also wheeling the team’s No. 77 to eighth overall. Three-time ARCA Menards Series West winner Hailie Deegan (No. 4 DGR-Crosley Racing Ford) was ninth and Dominique Van Wieringen (No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford) rounded out the top ten.
All of the 27 drivers that took time in the opening two hours of the day made single-car runs. The session, originally slated to be three hours, was delayed slightly more than 90 minutes due to a wet track surface after overnight rain and the ever present morning marine layer of fog in Daytona Beach. There were no incidents throughout the morning session.
Testing for the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire continues through 5 pm ET this afternoon and will conclude with two sessions at 9 am ET and noon ET tomorrow. Live timing and scoring will be available for free at ARCARacing.com.