Townley Leads Talladega ARCA Test


Milka Duno, who qualified second at Daytona, leading the first 11 laps, was second fastest overall. The Caracas, Venezuela driver, in the No. 35 CANTV-Milka Way Toyota, circled the track Wednesday with an average speed of 179.625 mph.

Baltimore, Maryland rookie Justin Boston, in the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota, was fourth fastest overall at 178.720 mph.

“I thought the test went really good,” Boston said. “Collectively, as a (Venturini Motorsports) group, it was awesome. For me, personally, it was a comfort thing – building my confidence for when we return. But today was really more important for us as a team, than for me as a driver.

“The track definitely feels a lot bigger (than Daytona) going down the straightaways. The other difference I noticed was the access roads – getting onto and exciting pit road is different.”

Current ARCA Racing Series point leader Mason Mingus, also in a Toyota, was fifth fastest overall at 177.854 mph.

Former Talladega polesitter Tom Hessert was sixth on the charts with an average speed of 177.745 mph in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.

Former Talladega winner and eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart was seventh overall in the No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet.

Gerhart tested two cars, a newer machine and an old reliable car he calls “Sweet Pea”. Gerhart’s Sweet Pea is the same car that he won in at Talladega in 2001. It’s also the same car that got wrecked in a multi-car pile-up at Talladega during last year’s race.

“Both of the cars we tested are former Daytona winners. In fact, there are four Daytona wins between these two cars – two apiece. One of our goals was to find out which car is the best, and leave it at that.”

Hessert’s Cunningham Motorsports teammate, rookie Korbin Forrister, was eighth fastest followed by fellow rookies Cody McMahan (Wes Gonder Racing) and Galen Hassler (Carter 2 Motorsports) to complete the top-10 respectively.