Danica Patrick gets first taste of draft at Daytona

The second day of a three-day ARCA Racing Series presented by

RE/MAX and Menards test session at Daytona International Speedway

allowed Danica Patrick and other drivers to experience their first

stock car draft on Saturday afternoon.

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 on February 6.

“These cars are different than 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 cross over. You can’t do that in

the cars I drive. I got comfortable. Today was good. Tomorrow will

be better.”

Eury met with the media after Patrick’s first drafting

session.

“She’s doing really good,” Eury said. “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 — holding 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 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, Arpin and local, Daytona Beach, Florida,

native Owens, posted identical times (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 3 and 4 with a half-hour remaining during the session,

sustaining right side damage to his ARCA Racing Series car. 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 presented by RE/MAX and Menards will

return to DIS 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.