(BMS) -- BRISTOL, Tenn. (Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009) -- Four NASCAR Whelen Modified Series champions were among six drivers who challenged the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” during a test session on Tuesday.
The fastest time of the day was clocked by L.W. Miller of Dushore, Pa. Miller circled the .533-mile oval in 14.742 sec., breaking Ryan Newman’s Cup Series track record of 14.908 sec. set in 2003.
The cars were running with carburetor restrictor-plates for the test session. Later in the afternoon, a few drivers removed the plates, resulting in even faster times.
Ted Christopher, the 2008 Whelen Modified Tour Champion, jumped at the chance to test his car on the concrete track with the engine unrestricted. Christopher turned an incredible lap of 14.479 sec., a mind-blowing proposition.
“It’s crazy. It’s sick. It’s intense,” said the Plainville, Conn. native. “The one thing you have to remember is to breathe. I’ve never been anywhere that you can drive without lifting [the throttle].”
Christopher said race fans should be in for quite a show when the Whelen Modified Tour returns Aug. 19 for a doubleheader event with the NASCAR Camping World Series.
“We will have to have some give and take,” he continued. “We’re going to be able to do some cross-over moves. I think it’s going to be a very technical race.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to be here,” said Christopher. “The cars run around here pretty good. They’re very fast.”
Other drivers participating in the test were Matt Hirschman, Brian Loftin, Ronnie Silk and Todd Szegedy.
Szegedy said the track is unlike any other.
“There are a lot of G’s pushing you down into the seat,” he said. “It will take time to get used to it, but it is definitely a lot of fun.”
All of the drivers were excited about getting the opportunity to test at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“It is an honor to be here,” said Loftin. “I think this will become one of the crown jewels of modified racing. This is one of the most fun places to race and I think we will put on a good show later this year.”
The open-wheel machines, which put out 600 horsepower and weigh 2,610 lbs., will return to Thunder Valley during the August Sharpie 500 race week.