ARCA testing underway at Daytona

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Two days down, one more to go for the ARCA Racing Series, which is conducting an Open Test this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway.

So far, it’s been a good test for Venturini Motorsports, which has seen its drivers top the charts both today and on Friday. Today, Justin Boston hit P1 in the afternoon session with a lap at 183.602 miles per hour in the No. 25 ZLoop Toyota.

Justin Allison was second-quickest this afternoon (183.475), followed by Spencer Gallagher in third (183.460), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran John Wes Townley in fourth (183.441), and Tyler Reddick in fifth (183.419). Michael Self was tops in the morning session at 181.704 mph.

Townley, driving the No. 15 Toyota, led both sessions on Friday and had a hot lap of 183.501 mph that he achieved in the afternoon. In that session, Reddick was second (182.408), Tom Hessert was third (182.301), former Road to Indy prospect Shannon McIntosh was fourth (182.138), and Self was fifth (182.087).

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 2 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 2 of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires saw two series hit the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course for pre-season testing. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda both got their turns on Saturday after the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires took to the 1.5-mile oval on Friday.

Both series got in two sessions apiece during the day. Below are quick reports for Pro Mazda and USF2000.

Pro Mazda: Thompson, Askew Lead Opening Sessions

A pair of USF2000 graduates led the two sessions for Pro Mazda. In Session 1, it was Parker Thompson and Exclusive Autosport leading the way, while Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew, last year’s USF2000 champion, led the way in Session 2. Times from both sessions are below.

Juncos Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, last year’s runnerup in the USF2000 championship, also put in a strong showing, ending up second in Session 2.

This was also the first official session for the brand new Tatuus PM-18, and it’s first official outing showed off quite a bit of speed. Lap times were reportedly upwards of four seconds a lap faster than the previous Elan Pro Mazda chassis.

USF2000: Pabst Racing, Cape Motosports Lead the Way

The teams that battled for last year’s USF2000 crown, Cape Motorsports and Pabst Racing, traded early blows during Saturday testing, with each team leading a session.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh led the way in Session 1, with four Pabst cars in the top five, while Kyle Kirkwood led Session 2 for Cape. Times from both sessions are below.

However, it should be noted that DEForce Racing’s Kory Enders spent most of Session 2 at the top of the speed charts before getting pushed down to third late in the running. With the top three finishers from last year’s USF2000 championship all moving on to Pro Mazda (Askew, VeeKay, and Thompson), this USF2000 season could be anyone’s for the taking.

Of note, Keith Donegan, who signed with ArmsUp Motorsports after winning the $200K scholarship from Mazda Motorsports in November’s Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, was 16th in Session 1, but did not turn laps in Session 2.

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