DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two-time Daytona 500 winning crew chief Larry McReynolds, who serves as an analyst on the NASCAR broadcast team for FOX Sports, watched over his son Brandon as the annual three-day ARCA Racing Series test session kicked off on Friday at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Approximately 60 drivers are participating in the test session in advance of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener on Saturday, Feb. 18, the kick-off event to the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2012.
The 20-year-old McReynolds is turning laps at the World Center of Racing in the No. 4 Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports as he prepares for his first start on the 31-degree high banks of Daytona Int’l Speedway.
McReynolds participated in the ARCA test two years ago with Eddie Sharp Racing, but didn’t have plans at the time to compete at Daytona. This year’s test is different. He knows he’s preparing for his Daytona debut in the upcoming 80-lap, 200-mile event.
“It’s a little more serious,” McReynolds said. “We’re always looking for speed. I think you got some guys out here laying down some PR laps. That’s not what Turner Motorsports is about. We’re down here for a legit test to see how fast we can go with what we’re going to be racing. I think we got a good piece.”
In background of the test is Brandon’s father Larry McReynolds, who won the Daytona 500 serving as the crew chief for Davey Allison in 1992 and Dale Earnhardt in 1998.
“When we won the 500 here with Davey in 1992, Brandon was not even a year old,” Larry McReynolds said. “He was Davey’s godson. I’ve got pictures of him in Victory Lane wrapped up in a baby’s blanket. It’s pretty cool to see him make laps here.”
During this week’s test, McReynolds stays at a distance but is always ready to offer advice to his son.
“He’s been racing since he was seven,” McReynolds said. “I’ve always played a huge role in his racing whether it was paying the bills or running the race team. We did that for a number of years with our own stuff. But Steve Turner and Turner Motorsports are giving him a great opportunity with great people.
“It’s actually kind of neat just being down here and being dad and just listening on the radio. At the end of the day, I can look at him and tell him things that I heard or saw or this is something you might want to think about. I do not want to be a meddling dad. I want to be here and support him and the race team and enjoy watching his career grow.”
Brandon McReynolds is unsure of his 2012 plans but hopes it will be at Turner Motorsports.
“We’re still working on it. I hope to be over at Turner Motorsports. I really enjoy working with those guys. They’ve let me do some testing over the offseason and I ran Talladega with those guys. I feel like I’ve got a really good home over there. We’re working away on it. It takes sponsorship to make race cars go around these days and we’re working on it. We’ll see what happens.”