Atlanta: Ganassi Racing qualifying notes

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 8, 2002) - The No. 40 Coors Light and No. 41 Target teams of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates secured top-15 starting positions for the MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer, driver of the No. 41 ...

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 8, 2002) - The No. 40 Coors Light and No. 41 Target teams of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates secured top-15 starting positions for the MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Jimmy Spencer, driver of the No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T, ran a fast lap of 29.084 seconds (190.620 mph), placing the Target Dodge fifth in the lineup. The last time Spencer started in the top-10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway was March 1996.

"We've got a good race team," Spencer said. "I couldn't ask for anything better. The motors are fantastic. Give a driver a good motor and a good car and his confidence will go up every race. I'm sure mine will. I'm looking forward to the rest of this year.

"I think Atlanta is probably one of the best race tracks we go to right now. It almost reminds me of the old Atlanta. There's two distinctive grooves. You can run high or low. You've got throttle response and you can back off if a guy is pressing the issue on you. You can get in a rhythm here and run well. We qualified fourth last week and fifth this week, so I feel like we're gaining on it. We got a top-10 last week, so maybe we can work our way up to a top-5 on Sunday."

Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T, ran a 29.181-second lap time (189.987 mph), placing him in the 12th starting position for Sunday's event. In his last race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (11/18/01), Marlin started 28th and finished second.

"I think the best we've ever qualified with this car (#115) is ninth or 10th," Marlin said. "It's a racer, not a qualifier. This car hasn't finished out of the top-5 in six starts, so we're going to try to keep that streak alive. That was a lot better than we practiced. We were off all morning. We put our heads together again and came up with a little deal. I held my breath and made it. I don't usually qualify good here, but I race good."

The MBNA America 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway will be broadcast on FOX on Sunday, March 10 at 12:30 p.m., e.s.t.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmy Spencer , Sterling Marlin , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing