DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dominique Van Wieringen led the way in the final day of testing for the ARCA Menards Series at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
The two-day test session, leading into the Feb. 8 Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire, was plagued by overnight rain showers that delayed the start of testing each day, but the teams on hand were able to get nearly 15 hours of track time over the course of both days.
Van Wieringen, who has a career-best third place finish in the ARCA Menards Series East at Langley Speedway, piloted the No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford to a fast lap at 49.615 seconds at 181.397 mph. Van Wieringen’s fast lap also marks the second consecutive season a female driver led the way in a test session at Daytona as now-retired Leilani Munter led the first day of the open test last year.
“I was really surprised when Mark (Rette) said we went to the top of the charts,” Van Wieringen said. “I was practicing trying to time the draft for qualifying and I didn’t get it times just right. Hopefully when we come back for the race I can time it out a little better in qualifying and get even more.
“It’s been a good experience. It’s really intimidating because you go really fast and when things go wrong they go wrong really fast. For the first time out, it was better than I thought it would be. It was actually really relaxing. I don’t know how to explain it, it was just really relaxing.”
World of Outlaws star David Gravel, driving the No. 28 KBR Development Chevrolet, timed in second fastest at 49.659 seconds at 181.236 mph. Gravel is slated to run a partial season for GMS Racing in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and will make his first ARCA Menards Series start in the ARCA Menards Series opener at Daytona.
Sean Corr was third fastest. He was followed closely by a trio Venturini Motorsports teammates, last year’s season runner-up and former Daytona winner Michael Self, Drew Dollar and Ryan Repko.
Alabamian Bret Holmes was seventh, the final driver over 181 mph. Riley Herbst, who led Friday morning’s session in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, was eighth, just in front of the two Chad Bryant Racing teammates Jacob Heafner and Friday’s overall fastest Connor Hall.
Other notables throughout the field included former Talladega winner Gus Dean in 12th, former NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock national champion Tanner Gray in 13th, Hailie Deegan in 16th, and Tom Hessert III in 20th.
Two ARCA touring champions, ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Greg Van Alst and ARCA Menards Series East champion Sam Mayer, took part in Saturday’s action, making single-car runs in a car prepared by two-time Daytona winner and 1995 series champion Andy Hillenburg. Van Alst timed in 28th quickest while Mayer was 34th.