Armstrong Runs Fastest Time In Super Late Model During Final Day Of Short Track U.S. Nationals Open Testingby Press Release May 14, 2017
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Dalton Armstrong raced his Super Late Model to the top of the practice speed charts following the first two sessions of the final open test day for the Inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals, May 19-21.
Armstrong ran a quick lap of 14.501 seconds at 124.129 in his Winfield machine. The Alexandria, Ind., native improved from his first practice run of the day, a 15.292 at 117.709, which was good for 13th in Session No. 1.
Armstrong’s run was even more impressive for the fact that his quick lap was faster than the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series record of 14.573 seconds at 131.668 mph, set by Denny Hamlin in August ’16.
“I think some of it is just being more comfortable in the car this time,” said Armstrong on why speeds were faster during the second testing day. “We thought we could be this fast and we think it can get a little faster, but so can everybody else.”
The extra practice was one of the main keys for Armstrong who cautioned that The World’s Fastest Half-Mile is one-of-a-kind for the short track, late model world.
“It was so scary just not knowing what to expect,” Armstrong said. “It doesn’t take but a little hiccup here and you’re building a new car.”
Tyler Ankrum was second quickest with a 14.704 at 122.416 while Chandler Smith ran a 14.619 at 123.127 for the third best time.
NASCAR XFINITY Series competitor Darrell “Bubba” Wallace was on hand to test his Super Late Model today. While he has experience at The Last Great Colosseum, today’s test was Wallace’s first ever run in a SLM. His No. 6 was fifth-quickest in the first practice and seventh-quickest in second practice, with a fast lap of 14.818 at 121.474.
“I think I just now caught my breath,” said Wallace, who races for Roush Fenway Racing in the XFINITY Series. “I definitely couldn’t pass up this opportunity when it presented itself to come up here and have some fun. The speeds are outrageous.”
Las Vegas racer Noah Gragson is looking forward to the Short Track U.S. Nationals. He had one of the fastest cars during the first test day here two weeks ago and played spotter today as fellow Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Kyle Benjamin tested Gragson’s No. 51 SLM machine. Despite not being in the car today, Gragson is pumped for next weekend’s races.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun to go around here,” said Gragson, who pilots one of KBM’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries. “It feels like you are in a flying saucer around this place. Your eyes can barely keep up with how fast you are going and looking at the track. It’s such a blast to drive here.”
In Late Model Stock, local favorite Danny O’Quinn led the way after two sessions with a 15.653-second lap at 114.994 mph. The Abingdon, Va. resident has raced at BMS before and is thrilled to be back behind the wheel at his home track.
“When I saw they were going to add this race to the schedule, I was pretty excited,” said O’Quinn. “There’s no place I look more forward to coming to than Bristol. It’s like riding a bike, but it took a few laps to get back in the swing of things.”
Late Model Stock veteran Deac McCaskill was quickest during the first session and posted the second best overall lap of 15.676 seconds at 114.825 mph. Craig Stallard was third quickest from the first two sessions with a 15.723 at 114.482.
In other classes, Cole Williams (Pro Late Model) ran a 14.968 at 120.257, Jeff Lane (Modifieds) was fastest with a 16.395 at (Modifieds), Chuck Barnes Sr. (Street Stock) ran a class best 18.196 at 98.923 and Steve Vore (Compacts) posted a 19.494 at 92.336.
Two practice sessions remain for the day.
Nearly 500 race cars split among six classes are expected to be in competition during the Short Track U.S. Nationals, including Super Late Model, Pro/Crate Late Model, Late Model Stock, Modified, Street Stock and Compact divisions. The five sanctioning bodies that will be represented are CRA (Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Street Stock), CARS Tour (Super Late Models, Late Model Stock), Southern Super Series (Super Late Model), National Short Track Alliance (Modifieds), VORES Compact Touring Series (Compacts).
Tickets and pit passes for the Short Track U.S. Nationals start at $85 for a weekend grandstand seat/pit pass combo and $45 for a Saturday/Sunday grandstand GA combo. Kids 12-and-under are just $10 for a Saturday/Sunday grandstand GA combo. Individual pit passes also are available for ages 14-and-up. Please visit http://www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/tickets/us-short-track-nationals/ for more information on ticketing for the race.
For those who can’t attend, Bristol Motor Speedway and Speed51.com are partnering to offer customers a webcast pay-per-view experience of the Short Track U.S. Nationals. The early bird weekend combo price of $44.99 is available until Friday, May 19. The PPV also will be available for $24.99 on Saturday and $29.99 on Sunday of race weekend. To purchase the PPV package, please visit: http://speed51.com/bristol.
Photo Credit: Bristol Motor Speedway