COUNTRY MUSIC STAR NAMED HONORARY ATLANTIC STARTER
Tracy Byrd’s new MCA album Big Love has all the elements that have made his first three records sell over three million copies and his audiences go wild. Recognized as one of country music’s best live acts, Byrd has been invited to tour and sing alongside country music icons Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, and Tracy Lawrence. Critics have identified Byrd’s appeal as his innate talent and good musical taste, in the feeling of naturalness and realness he brings to a performance. Race fans will be treated to Byrd’s musical magic but in one of the most traditional modes prior to Saturday’s "standing start" for the season finale of the 1997 KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship. Byrd will perform the national anthem for what is expected to be another large and enthusiastic Laguna Seca audience. Further, as the "Honorary Race Starter," Byrd will issue the command, "Gentleman, start your Toyota engines."
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6:15 p.m.-Session begins under sunny skies and temperatures in low 70s.
6:22 p.m.-#19 GIDLEY runs a fast lap of 1:21.002 - 99.464 mph.
6:24 p.m.-#85 KNAPP runs the fastest lap of the session at 1:20.592 - 99.970 mph.
6:27 p.m.-#35 POOK takes the fast lap lead at 1:20.104 - 100.57 mph.
6:35 p.m.-#32 BARRON takes the top spot at 1:19.972 - 100.745 mph-
6:36 p.m.-#64 LIVELY looses control entering turn four and stops off course in the gravel (driver’s left) - brings out a BLACK FLAG - rescue unit is dispatched to retrieve the car.
6:43 p.m.-GREEN FLAG
6:50 p.m. - - CHECKERED FLAG . . . #4 LAZZARO spins off track in turn six and makes light contact against the wall - driver out and okay - #19 GIDLEY runs the fastest lap of the session at 1:19-467 - 101.385 mph.
#19 MEMO GIDLEY, of San Rafael, Calif., is on the PROVISIONAL POLE with a fast lap time of 1:19.467 - 101.385 mph in the Lynx Racing Ralt RT-41. #29 CASE MONTGOMERY, of Salinas, Calif., is second fastest in the Binder Racing-Microsoft-Wall Data-Tandem-Compaq Ralt RT-41 at 1:19.666 - 101.132 mph.
#32 ALEX BARRON, of Vista, Calif., is third fastest in the Lynx Racing-Victory Circle/Red Line Oil Ralt RT-41 at 1:19.972 - 100.745 mph.
GIDLEY’S previous best qualifying result was when won the pole one race ago at Vancouver in round 11.
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