DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2000) Notes and quotes Monday heading into Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway: Monday morning's practice session for the Daytona 500 as halted temporarily by an...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2000) Notes and quotes Monday heading into Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway:
Monday morning's practice session for the Daytona 500 as halted temporarily by an accident involving Greg Sacks and Jeff Fuller. "We had just gotten in a pack going down into (Turn) 3," said Fuller, driver of the No. 27 Viagra Pontiac. "Sacks had gone underneath and I guess his car just came right out from underneath him. The back end came right out from underneath him, and he tried saving it, got up into us and the rest is history.
"I'm an innocent bystander -- a sore innocent bystander."
Unfortunately for Fuller and his Eel River Racing team, it puts them in a back up car for the rest of Speedweeks.
"It's heartbreaking," said Barry Dodson, crew chief for the No. 27 Grand Prix. "We put 90 percent of our effort into this one car, knowing it might not qualify well. But, I've been here long enough to know what races well, and it was certainly doing that.
"I guess it's a black Valentine, not red."
Joe Nemechek paced Monday morning's practice session with a lap of 46.663 seconds, at an average speed of 192.872 mph. Nemechek, driver of the No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet, was very pleased with his team's improved performance. "We were definitely better than we have been," Nemechek said. "The car is better than the one we had in the Bud Shootout. We've got to try to find more speed."
Derrike Cope, in the No. 15 Fenley-Moore Motorsports Ford, was second-fastest with a lap of 46.679 seconds, at 192.806 mph. Rookies Matt Kenseth and Dave Blaney, as well as veteran Mark Martin, rounded out the top-5 in the morning session.
Dale Earnhardt was almost as fast leaving the track Monday as he was on it in the morning practice. Earnhardt had to leave Daytona following the session to fly to Las Vegas for Monday night's ESPN ESPY Awards. Earnhardt was nominated for Driver of the Decade. "This is a neat deal," Earnhardt said. "We won four championships in the '90s, so maybe we've got a pretty good chance to win. It's a five-hour flight, but we'll make it in time. The car felt a little better out there in practice today, but I've got to run. Don't want to be late for an important date."
Earnhardt was 36th in the morning session with a lap of 47.529 seconds, at 189.358 mph.