Kurt Busch, Newman give COT a Daytona spin

Updated: January 17, 2007, 4:18 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kurt Busch started the final day of testing by catching a gust of wind at just the right moment. He ended Wednesday's last session in a Car of Tomorrow that was 9 mph slower.

Busch's fifth lap in the morning outing at Daytona was more than 6 mph faster than anyone else turned in at the test session.

It was cool and windy, a situation that allowed Busch to post a lap at 191.188 mph in the No. 2 Dodge. It easily was the fastest lap in two weeks of testing on the 2.5-mile oval.

Paul Menard led the drafting practice in the final test session at 187.099 mph in the No. 15 Chevy. The last session ended early because of rain.

Three drivers -- Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and David Reutimann -- made the top 10 on the speed chart in both sessions Wednesday.

Reutimann had the two fastest laps of the week for Toyota -- seventh at 186.397 mph on Tuesday in the No. 00 Camry and eighth at 185.739 mph Wednesday afternoon.

Busch and Penske Racing South teammate Ryan Newman were the only drivers to test Car of Tomorrow entries. Both men used COT cars in the afternoon session Wednesday.

As expected, the cars were much slower. Busch's best lap was 182.345 mph (41st overall).

"I thought it was great," Busch said. "We had to make sure of fender clearances and we just went for two laps at a time. We played with spoiler angles, wing angles and the different combinations.

"I thought the car could handle any speed it wanted to go. It gets back to a little bit of what they have with the truck series; big drag that slows the car down aerodynamically, but an open motor that has the horsepower like we're used to at all our tracks."

Newman had a top lap of 181.770 mph (46th overall). He wasn't as impressed with the COT as Busch was.

"It was OK," he said. "I think we proved today you can't take the [restrictor] plates off them until we get less horsepower."

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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