It?s silent now at Daytona International Speedway, after nearly a month of testing for NASCAR?s top three series during NASCAR Preseason Thunder. Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) ended testing for the Feb. 14 Hershey?s Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series event on a high note by setting the overall fast time for the entire four-day test. Leffler ran the 2.5-mile facility at a speed of 181.156 mph in the afternoon session, which was the last before a two-hour drafting practice in which few teams chose to participate. Only two other drivers ? Joe Nemechek (No. 87 CellularOne Chevrolet) at 181.097 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Yum Brands Inc./Kraft Nabisco Chevrolet) at 181.036 ? topped the 181 mark during the NASCAR Busch Series portion of NASCAR Preseason Thunder. In Wednesday?s final session reserved for drafting, Robby Gordon (No. 55x Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet) tested at 180.560 while running alone on the track. Rain prevented the first group of cars from having any drafting practice Jan. 19, and only three cars actually hooked up in a draft Wednesday. Leffler had a phenomenal tune-up for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season opener. Tuesday, he ran the two fastest times in separate cars during both the morning and afternoon sessions. In Wednesday?s morning session, Leffler was fastest at 179.910 and third-quickest in the second session at 179.508. ?To say we?re going to come down here and sit on the pole is being overzealous, but we do know we have two good race cars,? Leffler said. ?It?s good. We?re a new team, but a lot of guys on our crew ? we?ve all been around. We have good equipment and we all know what to do. I?m just looking forward to coming back here and racing, and to the rest of the season.? And what would it mean to the California native to win on Valentine?s Day in Central Florida? ?Whether you?re racing go-karts or [NASCAR NEXTEL] Cup racing, winning at Daytona is special,? Leffler continued. ?For us being a new team, to start the year off with a win is just incredible no matter where it?s at. I mean, it would really be special. Hopefully, we can do that. There?s a lot of work that lies ahead, and just hopefully, the rest of Speedweeks goes as smooth as [the test].?
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