Under cloudy skies at Michigan

By PNSchilke - Motorsport.com Friday, August 17, 2001 -- On Thursday, the Mid-west drought ended with lots of rain. This, of course, was a blessing for the people who live here in Michigan but at the same time, left race teams and...

By PNSchilke - Motorsport.com

Friday, August 17, 2001 -- On Thursday, the Mid-west drought ended with lots of rain. This, of course, was a blessing for the people who live here in Michigan but at the same time, left race teams and fans scrambling to prepare for cooler temperatures and possible off and on rain showers for the weekend.

This morning at Michigan International Speedway, the day is overcast with winds blowing in from the west (front straight at the track) at 20-25 MPH. Most of the Winston Cup teams changed their qualifying trim that they ran here in June with sunny calm days and higher temperatures. They were in and out of the garage area during practice alternating the qualifying set-up. Ricky Rudd spent over 15 minutes in the garage and returned to the track -- within two laps had set the fastest time in practice.

Bill Elliott was fifth in practice -- maybe it has something to do with the new paint scheme on the Dodge -- quite dramatic. Rusty Wallace was second fastest and question of the day is -- will Wallace break his long dry spell of the pole position here at MIS. The last time Wallace had the pole was in 1988.

Jerry Nadeau was the fastest of the Chevys -- sixth fastest with Jeff Gordon in eighth. Ford and Dodge dominated the top ten.

The top ten are: Ricky Rudd (Ford), Rusty Wallace (Ford), Sterling Marlin (Dodge), Dale Jarrett (Ford), Bill Elliott (Dodge), Jerry Nadeau (Chevy), Ward Burton (Dodge), Jeff Gordon (Chevy), Jimmy Spencer (Ford), and Casey Atwood (Dodge).

This afternoon's questions concern the weather.  The sun has made attempts to come out which could change
the afternoon temperatures and increase the track temperature.  Or the clouds could increase with the
reports of possible rain.  The Cup cars will qualify at 3:05 p.m. EDT.

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Series NASCAR-CUP