LABONTES, JARRETT, M. WALTRIP, MARLIN & EARNHARDT DAYTONA 500 POLE FAVORITES DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Several familiar names Friday projected themselves as favorites for Saturday's Busch Pole Award Qualifying session for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500...
LABONTES, JARRETT, M. WALTRIP, MARLIN & EARNHARDT DAYTONA 500 POLE FAVORITES
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Several familiar names Friday projected themselves as favorites for Saturday's Busch Pole Award Qualifying session for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
First-round qualifying, which will set the front row for the $3 million-plus dollar NASCAR Winston Cup season opener, is set to begin at 2 p.m.
On Friday, Terry Labonte posted the fastest randomly-clocked time as he ran 193.316 mph in the Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Dale Jarrett, winner of the 1993 Daytona 500, was at 192.860 in the Texaco/Havoline Ford Thunderbird.
Rounding out the top five practice speeds were Michael Waltrip in the Pennzoil Pontiac Grand Prix, 192.831; Bobby Labonte in the Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, 192.020; and Steve Grissom in the Meineke Chevrolet, 191.726.
Earnhardt, Daytona's career victories leader with 23, practiced little on Friday afternoon. His best recorded lap was 191.339 in the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet.
"I expect to sit on the pole," said Jarrett matter-of-factly. "We got a shot at it, certainly. Weather will play a big factor. It's expected to be hotter, with the wind picking up some. If we make the right calculations, we should be in good shape. Unless it's extremely hot and windy, you'll need to run somewhere around 193 mph. But you can rest assured no one will win the pole by a large margin. Three or four cars will be right there. Going out at the right time will be another important factor, because the weather changes so quickly here."
Despite running quickly, the elder Labonte also was candid in his assessment of his chances.
"I think the #28 has everybody covered right now," he said. "It should be a pretty good battle for second quickest among seven or eight teams. We practiced pretty good. Hopefully, we'll pick up a little bit more. We're not bad right now."
Also on Saturday, the 40-car starting field for the Sunday's Daytona ARCA 200 Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series race will be set in Racing Radios Second-Round Qualifying, beginning at 10 a.m.
In another development on Friday, three members of Bill Davis Racing were fined more than $35,000 after NASCAR officials found a driver-actuated apparatus designed to alter the height of the rear deck (trunk) lid of the team's #22 MBNA America Pontiac.
Car owner Bill Davis was fined $25,000 driver Randy LaJoie was fined $10,000 and crew chief Chris Hussey was fined $100 and was placed on indefinite probation.
Davis issued a statement saying the team would appeal the fines to the National Stock Car Racing Commission.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The top 10 speeds Friday, randomly timed, from NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway:
1. Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 193.316 mph 2. Dale Jarrett, Ford, 192.860 3. Michael Waltrip, Pontiac, 192.831 4. Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 192.020 5. Steve Grissom, Chevrolet, 191.726 6. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 191.677 7. Ted Musgrave, Ford, 191.559 8. Jeff Purvis, Chevrolet, 191.542 9. Morgan Shepherd, Ford, 191.518 10. Todd Bodine, Ford, 191.493 11. Robert Pressley, Chevrolet, 191.481 12. Mark Martin, Ford, 191.477 13. Loy Allen, Ford, 191.449 14. Sterlin Marlin, Chevrolet, 191.339 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 191.339