Sweet, Darrah and Swindell Top the Charts on Practice Night at Volusia Speedway Park
Five straight nights of UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit begins Wednesday
BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 12, 2013 - Two-dozen sprint car drivers converged on the fastest half-mile track in the country on a warm Tuesday evening for a little practice.
Brad Sweet set the quickest time with a lap of 13.115 seconds in the first of three sets of hot laps on the opening night of the 42nd annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park.
The 24 drivers, plus another dozen or so, return on Wednesday for back-to-back UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions competition before Friday's World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series three-day, season-opening event.
Those five races are part of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit, which awards a unique gator trophy to the top-point earner. Tuesday was an opportunity to get back in the seat and take a few laps on Hoosiers - the new and Official Tire of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
"Coming off the offseason you come to the fastest track of the year to start the year off and it's just nice to get in a car, get in race shape and get your feet underneath you," Sweet said.
Fellow Kasey Kahne Racing driver Cody Darrah was quickest in the second set with a lap of 13.628 seconds and he finished fifth in the other two sets - less than three tenths off the top time in both.
"I'm really glad to be on Hoosiers this year; it's definitely a good feel under our car," Darrah said. "This place is so fast and it's good to come here and get some laps. We tested some things, tested some motors and we're leaving pretty happy here tonight."
Defending UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit champion Sammy Swindell ended the night by posting the top lap of 13.913 seconds in the third set after finishing third in the first set and sixth in the second set.
"We came in exactly like we ran here last year and it wasn't bad," he said. "We made some changes, but we didn't really adjust for the track change so we kind of missed a little bit on that.
"The last one we went ahead and did a few things to get a little more aggressive with the car because we pretty much did everything we wanted with the motor, so that kind of put the whole program together and gave us a direction for tomorrow."