Venturini Motorsports was seen at the top of the speed charts all last season at the different test sessions.
Kyle Fowler continued that tradition Tuesday afternoon with a lap of 48.791 seconds (184.460 mph).
"I didn't expect that,” Fowler told the ARCA Racing Network. “This is my first time here, but the guys have been putting a lot of hard work and effort into it. I'm certainly pleased with it, obviously.”
The 18-year old native of Smyrna, Ga. enters his first year of competition with Venturini Motorsports. Fowler crafted his skills running late models and ran five races last year in ARCA (two for Eddie Sharp, three for Ken Schrader) with his highest finish being 12th at Chicago. The 2011 season will mark the first year that Fowler could run the full year as he is now of age.
Fowler was followed on the speed charts by Venturini Motorsports teammates Steve Arpin (48.796 seconds, 184.441 mph) and Hal Martin (49.141 seconds, 146 mph).
"I only had the afternoon to log laps in the 55 car, and the team really worked hard to give me a fantastic car,” Martin said. “The track is fast, the car is fast, and I'm ready for days two and three. The car feels good and we worked on several different setups today.
"Daytona is a world-class track, and the repaving has made it even more challenging than before. It's going to be really interesting to see the drafting practice over the next two days. We can easily take it three-wide for several laps with this surface."
The fourth Venturini Motorsports driver, Mark Thompson, was eighth on the chart. This all goes back to the hard work in the shop and high expectations the team has, according to team General Manager Billy Venturini.
"We have high expectations when we go plate racing,” Venturini said. “We've worked really hard since the week after (last season's finale at) Rockingham, so it's always good to see your hard work pay off. I hope we can make it all apply when we come back for the race.”
Richard Childress Racing Development driver Tim George Jr. ended the day in fourth at 49.201 seconds (182.923 mph). Chris Buescher, who led the morning session, finished the day fifth overall at 49.315 seconds (182.5 mph).
"It was a little unexpected, for sure, being the first session out on a speedway for me," Buescher said after leading the morning session. "To be honest, I'm not at all comfortable yet. I was a little bit all over the place, but that means I've got a good piece under me. We did a good job preparing."
IndyCar driver Milka Duno, driving for the defending championship team of Sheltra Motorsports, finished the day sixth, followed by rookie Ty Dillon, Thompson, Grant Enfinger and Dakoda Armstrong.
Testing is set to continue tomorrow and Thursday. Live timing and scoring can be found on both days at ARCARacing.com.
ARCA officials announced that tomorrow’s test session will feature single-car runs in the morning and drafting practice in the afternoon, which has drivers looking forward to it.
"We're going to try a couple different things. The car's handling outstanding so we just basically have to get me comfortable in the draft. That's going to be a new experience for me, so we'll see if we can get ready for the race here," Fowler said.
"Restrictor plate racing is absolutely different than anything I've ever done. It was something to take those first few laps around this place, considering how much history it has. It was incredible."
The 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season will mark the sanctioning body's 59th year of competition and begins with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 12. The event will air live on SPEED.
The complete 2011 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.