Darlington II: Friday summary

Mountain Dew Southern 500 Off To A Sterling Start DARLINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 30, 2002) - Rain washed out Bud Pole Qualifying and the 43-car field for the 53rd running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500 was finalized through the NASCAR Winston Cup...

Mountain Dew Southern 500 Off To A Sterling Start

DARLINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 30, 2002) - Rain washed out Bud Pole Qualifying and the 43-car field for the 53rd running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500 was finalized through the NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner standings.

Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge and the winner of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 earlier this spring at Darlington, will start on the pole with Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Ford, rolling off on the outside pole.

"It's a good spot for us," said Marlin. "It takes a good handling car at Darlington, and it doesn't matter if you start in the front or in the back. If the car drives good you'll be OK, but it's a plus to start up front."

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, will share the second row for Sunday's race with Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac.

Qualifying for Saturday's Gatorade 200 NASCAR Busch Series race was also rained out and the 43-car field was determined by the owner standings. Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 60 Grainger Ford, and Jason Keller, driver of the No. 57 Albertson's Ford, will start on the front row.

"I'm just happy to be in the points lead when things like this happen and to be able to start up front," said Biffle. "It's kind of crucial to start here up front; track position is important and just hopefully start out running in the top five."

South Carolina's own Jason Keller says he's comfortable with their chances for Saturday.

"Naturally, being from South Carolina, It's always nice to race in your home state. It's my hometown track and the last couple of times here we've run real well, so I think we have some really good notes."

Race weekend at Darlington continues with the Gatorade 200 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, August 31 at 1 p.m.

Sunday, September 1 will feature the 53rd running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500. Ward Burton is the defending champion of that event. For tickets or more information, contact the Raceway ticket hotline at (843) 395-8499, or log onto www.darlingtonraceway.com.

-dr-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Jason Keller , Greg Biffle , Sterling Marlin , Mark Martin