Nemechek on Koolerz 300 pole; Kinser draws IROC pole. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 12, 2003) -- "Front Row" Joe Nemechek lived up to his nickname on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway capturing the Bud Pole for Saturday's Koolerz 300, the...
Nemechek on Koolerz 300 pole; Kinser draws IROC pole.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 12, 2003) -- "Front Row" Joe Nemechek lived up to his nickname on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway capturing the Bud Pole for Saturday's Koolerz 300, the season opener to the NASCAR Busch Series.
Nemechek, driver and owner of the No. 87 Cellular One Pontiac, turned a fast lap of 186.050 mph to earn his fourth straight NASCAR Busch Series pole at Daytona.
The Lakeland, Fla., native has won the poles for the past two Koolerz 300s and took the pole for last year's inaugural Busch Series summer race.
"We're very fortunate to have success on the superspeedway race tracks," Nemechek said. "Here and in Talladega - I don't know how many poles we've had, but we have a bunch of them."
Nemechek, who is also a former Koolerz 300 champion with his 1998 triumph and is the winner of last year's 250-mile Busch Series summer race at Daytona, will have defending Koolerz 300 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. alongside for the start of Saturday's 120-lap race.
Earnhardt Jr. took outside pole honors with a lap of 185.586 in the No. 8 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet fielded by his new Busch Series team named Chance 2. Earnhardt Jr. formed the team with his stepmother Teresa.
"It looks real good right now," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We picked up quite a bit in qualifying and had a great lap. I'm real happy with the lap we had and the car. We've been under the microscope quite a bit in the tech line, but we were still able to get a good lap out of the car."
Kevin Harvick, Mike McLaughlin and open-wheel star Jimmy Vasser rounded out the top five.
Harvick's participation in Saturday's Koolerz 300 is part of a busy Speedweeks schedule that also includes the Budweiser Shootout, Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500, the Gatorade 125's, the True Value IROC Series and the Daytona 500. He's also the owner of a truck driven by Ed Berrier in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250.
"It's been a pretty wild schedule so far that I'm going to race," Harvick said. "I'm going to go to bed right now and the thing hasn 't even really gotten started. Now that qualifying is over, I'll be able to rest a little easier at night. We've got a really good Winston Cup car, and already ran the Bud Shootout. But things seem to be going really well so it's something that we're looking forward to and will hopefully have some good results."
IROC lineup: World of Outlaws drivers Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski had the lucky hand during the drawing for the starting grid for Friday's True Value IROC Round 1 at Daytona International Speedway.
Kinser, the 2002 World of Outlaws champion, will start on the pole while Lasoski will roll off on the outside pole. In Lasoski's first IROC race last year at Daytona, he started from the outside pole and finished sixth.
Rounding out the top five were Sam Hornish, Jimmie Johnson and Felipe Giaffone. Johnson will get the distinction of driving the pink Pontiac Firebird in Friday's 40-lap race, which starts at 11 a.m.
Rudd running well: Ricky Rudd was the fastest in the two final Winston Cup Series practice sessions for Thursday's Gatorade 125's. Rudd, behind the wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford for the Wood Brothers, posted a speed of 190.166 mph.
The Gatorade 125's, which will help finalize the field for Sunday's 45th annual Daytona 500, will go green on Thursday at 1 p.m.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2003 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.