SPARTA, Ky. — Sheldon Creed, driving the No. 28 MDM Motorsports-United Rentals Toyota, shot to the top of the board in the final moments of ARCA Racing Series testing Wednesday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
Teams were testing in preparation for Friday night’s Crosley Brands 150.
Creed circled the newly-paved 1.5-mile track in 29.363 seconds, at an average speed of 183.905 mph. Creed’s mark was very near the one-lap track record of 29.261 seconds, set by Chase Briscoe in 2016.
The bad news for the rest of the field? Creed thinks he’s got more in it for race day.
“The car was really good,” said Creed. “I think there’s more in it … I think we’ll be faster Friday.”
Creed’s been in the headlines a lot lately, earning a career-best second-place finish at DuQuoin after a fourth-place finish at Springfield. He made his first laps at Kentucky on Wednesday.
“I haven’t been here before, so the first few laps was all about just learning the place,” Creed said. “We made positive gains all day. This place seems to suit my style. It’s so smooth … you can get more aggressive with set-ups and your overall approach.”
Ty Majeski, in a Cunningham Motorsports 99 Ford, was atop the board for much of the afternoon, before Creed moved him back to second.
Like Creed, Majeski made his first laps Wednesday at Kentucky.
“I’ve never been here before so I was just getting used to it on the first few runs,” said Majeski. “We were able to try a lot of different things today … some things helped, some things hurt. I think we have a pretty good piece; I’m optimistic for Friday. I think we left a little on the table.”
Kentucky Speedway added another surface course layer to the track in October of 2016.
“With the new paving, ARCA brought a different tire here. It’s a super hard compound … the car gets faster as you run. It’s so smooth compared to Chicagoland … I feel like Kentucky is more forgiving, but if you get up in the gray and out of the groove, that could be a problem,” Majeski added. “It’s going to be interesting on race day when we’re going around lapped traffic. We had really good speed though … we’re in good shape.”
Zane Smith, also in an MDM Toyota, was third overall on the chart.
“I think we learned a good bit today,” said Smith. “Made a lot of gains throughout the day … I think it’ll pay off for race day. This place seems a lot faster than last year. For me, it was a whole lot faster in (turns) one and two … probably the fastest place I’ve been through all year. It felt like I was running wide open through there.”
Chase Purdy was fourth fastest in Mason Mitchell’s Chevrolet.
ARCA championship leader Austin Theriault, in Ken Schrader’s Ford, was fifth.
“The repave presents its own challenges,” said Theriault. “The tire’s harder so it doesn’t have the speed when you fire off, so you have to be disciplined and you can’t overreact. The tire comes in and the car comes around, and you have to adjust to that.
“At the end of the day, we did a couple things that didn’t work so we’ll try to go back on that. On the upside, we got a lot of information to think about today.”
In all, 20 drivers posted time and speed during the test, which was postponed by a day because of rain.
Vinnie Miller and newcomer Blaine Perkins made right-side contact with the wall off turn two. Spencer Davis also spun off turn four, making slight contact with the wall. All three drivers were able to drive away.
CREDIT: ARCA Communications