2009 Gatorade Races in Daytona Complete As part of the ongoing quest to set the field for the Daytona 500, the teams competed today in the duel Gatorade 150s. These races set spots 3 through 43 of the starting grid for Sunday's upcoming race....
2009 Gatorade Races in Daytona Complete
As part of the ongoing quest to set the field for the Daytona 500, the teams competed today in the duel Gatorade 150s. These races set spots 3 through 43 of the starting grid for Sunday's upcoming race. The pole and outside pole positions were determined last Sunday during qualifying with Martin Truex winning the pole and Mark Martin earning the outside pole. Sunday's qualifying also ensured that Bill Elliott, Travis Kvapil, Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte, 4 of the 21 teams outside the top 35 trying to make the race, would be in. That meant 17 teams were trying to the make the final four spots for the Daytona 500.
The #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion competed in the first race and started on the outside poll after qualifying 5th fastest on Sunday. The strategy going into the race was to stay up front and avoid trouble. Given the limited amount of practice time and the fickle nature of restrictor plate racing, the team knew that was easier said than done.
Bill took the green flag and led the second lap. Caution came out on lap 3 when the 7 car tapped the 2 car causing it to spin. Bill stayed out during the caution and battled up front during the first 24 laps when another caution came out. While under caution, the car experienced transmission trouble which ended the team's day early. Fortunately, the car was otherwise in good shape. The team will have two more practices (one Friday and one Saturday) before the running of the Daytona 500. Bill will start the race 40th.
Jeff Gordon won the 1st race and Kyle Busch won the 2nd. Scott Riggs, A.J. Allmendinger, Jeremy Mayfield and Ragan Smith were the four other teams outside the top 35 to make the race.