Bobby Labonte Grabs Pole for Saturday's Historic Pepsi 400 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 15, 1998) -- Making it three-for-four in restrictor-plate races in 1998, Bobby Labonte grabbed his third pole of the year by holding off Jeff Burton and...
Bobby Labonte Grabs Pole for Saturday's Historic Pepsi 400
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 15, 1998) -- Making it three-for-four in restrictor-plate races in 1998, Bobby Labonte grabbed his third pole of the year by holding off Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett to lead 49 cars in Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
The younger Labonte toured the 2.5-mile high-banked facility in 46.485 seconds, for an average speed of 193.611 mph. The top 25 positions were secured in Thursday's first-round qualifying with the rest of the starting order to be determined in Bud Beer Second-Round Qualifying today (Friday) at 6:30 p.m.
"That was a lot quicker than I thought it would go," said Labonte. "I just pointed it in the right direction and it turned out to be real fast. "This is the same car we've had all year in all four restrictor-plate races. Knock on wood, if we can get through practice tomorrow night we'll race it on Saturday. When I came by that first time and the guys told me what the lap time was, I was shocked. I was looking for a good lap, but that was sharp. The guys have done a terrific job, so far, so good. We'll see what we've really got on Saturday night." Jeff Burton secured the second starting position for Saturday's 400-mile event after posting a quick lap of 46.710 seconds, for an average speed of 192.678 mph.
Dale Jarrett, who was last week's winner in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, placed third in the running order with a lap of 192.008 mph. Terry Labonte, who sat on the outside pole for the Daytona 500, just missed placing his No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet on the front row by turning in a lap of 191.963 mph. Rounding out the top five was defending Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt secured the fifth starting position after being the very first car out in qualifying, he posted a lap of 191.783 mph.
NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Jeff Gordon secured the eighth starting position while his closest pursuer Mark Martin came home sixth in the qualifying order.
The on-track schedule for Friday includes NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice from 3-5:30 p.m., Bud Beer Second-Round Qualifying at 6:30 p.m. and final NASCAR Winston Cup practice from 7:30-9 p.m. Race fans attending Pepsi 400 Second-Round Qualifying and Final "Happy Hour" Practice on Friday will receive an added bonus. Daytona International Speedway will give a special limited-edition lighted NASCAR race car key chain to the first 5,000 ticket-buying customers on Friday.
"Daytona at the Speed of Light," will culminate with one of the most anticipated NASCAR events in history, the inaugural nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 on Saturday at 8 p.m. Although grandstand seating is sold out for the 1998 Pepsi 400, other options available to fans wishing to experience "Daytona at the Speed of Light" include infield tickets for the entire weekend of racing which are available at the gate starting on Thursday. For more ticket information, call the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-7223. For more information on Speedway events or DAYTONA USA, the "Ultimate Motorsports Attraction," visit www.daytonausa.com.