Lepage Talladega preview

Kevin Lepage, a Shelburne, Vt., native, returns to the driving duties of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo in Talladega. He will drive the Morgan-McClure Motorsports entry in the Talladega 500, which will mark his fourth start for the ...

Kevin Lepage, a Shelburne, Vt., native, returns to the driving duties of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo in Talladega. He will drive the Morgan-McClure Motorsports entry in the Talladega 500, which will mark his fourth start for the Abingdon, Va., based team.

Although much controversy surrounds a return for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series to the high-banked 2.66-mile oval, Lepage looks forward to competing in the 188-lap event. While some competitors are focusing on safety issues at Talladega Superspeedway, Lepage is excited about an opportunity to drive the No. 4 car there.

Morgan-McClure Motorsports has four wins and three poles at the fastest stop on the circuit. With the issue of not procuring another provisional until Sears Point looming over the team, qualifying is of prime importance.

<pre> Kevin Lepage Stats at Talladega

10/15/00        st. 16th/fn. 43rd
4/16/00         DNQ
10/17/99        st. 18th/fn. 18th
4/25/99         st. 16th/fn. 12th--best finish
10/11/98        st. 38th/fn. 35th
4/26/98         st. 29th/fn. 14th
10/12/97        st. 38th/fn. 17th

Morgan-McClure Stats at Talladega

10/15/00        st. 19th/fn. 36th
4/16/00             st. 28th/fn. 43rd
10/17/99         st. 23rd/fn. 9th
4/25/99          st. 36th/fn. 31st

</pre> Kevin Lepage on Talladega:

"Overall, I am happy with my results at Talladega. The finishes do not show the actual runs there. A few years ago, we were in the top-five with two laps to go and got shuffled back. Another time, we were running sixth and the engine blew. I think the results of our last visit to the track showed that amazing racing takes place there.

"Safety is a concern on everyone's mind. I understand NASCAR's rules. I am for them and against them. A couple of years ago, when we were wide open, there were some tremendous wrecks there. NASCAR has tried to create a level playing field. All 43 cars out there have to race by the same rules. However, we are bunched up and if one person makes a mistake now, it is huge. They (NASCAR) preach at us to use patience and use our heads at Daytona and Talladega.

"Talladega has a wider, better racing surface than Daytona. We just try not to get into a bad position during the race.

"I have a lot of excitement about competing at Talladega with the No. 4 car. Their past record on restrictor plate races is strong. They have wins and poles at Talladega. Last Fall they had a strong run going until they got into a tangle entering pit road. These tracks have a special meaning to Larry McClure and Morgan-McClure. I would like to share in that.

"Once qualifying is out of the way, we can focus on race strategy. Qualifying is important to us. We have to make the race based on our speed.

"They can work with me all day long during the race. They know how it is done. Maybe we can park the Kodak Chevy in victory lane again. I am sure it still knows its way there."

<pre> Morgan-McClure Wins and Poles At Talladega

Wins 1992-DieHard 500-Irvan 1993-Winston 500-Irvan 1995-DieHard 500-Marlin 1996-Winston Select 500-Marlin

Poles 1991-Winston 500-Irvan 1992-Winston 500-Irvan 1995-DieHard 500-Marlin

-MMMR

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Lepage