NASCAR News

Testing at Lowes
by Pete McCole
September 2, 2003

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NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year contender Jamie McMurray topped the unofficial speed charts in day one of a two-day testing session on Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Last October at this very track, Jamie McMurray went from unknown to history maker, becoming the fastest driver to score their first career Winston Cup victory since 1963, winning the UAW-GM Quality 500 in just his second career start, driving in relief for injured driver Sterling Marlin.

McMurray posted a lap 29.834 seconds (181.002 mph) around the 1.5-mile superspeedway in the #42 Havoline Dodge, one of seven teams taking part in the twilight session in preparation for the Oct. 11 race, the first time the fall race has been held under the lights at LMS.

McMurray's pacesetting lap was posted after the sun had set and the track surface cooled, nearly identical conditions teams will face during Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Dale Jarrett, a two-time UAW-GM Quality 500 winner, was second fastest on the unofficial watches at 180.566 mph in the No. 88 UPS Ford.

The third fastest time of the night was set by part-time ARCA driver Jeff Fultz, putting up a lap of 180.391 mph in the #55 Ford.

A pair of NASCAR Busch Series stars rounded out the top five. Series points leader, making his debut driving the #57 Ford, was fourth fastest with a lap of 179.509 mph. Scott Wimmer, a five-time winner in the Busch Series, was fifth fastest with a lap of 177.954 mph.

The session was halted twice during the six-hour session, the first being a one-hour stoppage for rain. On-track action was stopped yet again when Christian Fittipaldi’s No. 44 Dodge scraped the outside wall in turn four, the only on-track incident of the day.

The unofficial speeds:
1. Jamie McMurray, 181.002 mph; 2. Dale Jarrett, 180.566; 3. Jeff Fultz, 180.391; 4. Scott Riggs, 179.509; 5. Scott Wimmer, 177.954; 6. Christian Fittipaldi, 176.476; 7. Larry Foyt, 175.873.

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