Bud Pole Qualifying postponed at Evergreen

Bud Pole Qualifying postponed at Evergreen By Dave Rodman MONROE, Wash. (April 2, 1999) Jack Sprague is gunning for his second straight win at Evergreen and a $100,000 bonus. Steady rain that began 15 minutes into Friday evening practice...

Bud Pole Qualifying postponed at Evergreen

By Dave Rodman

MONROE, Wash. (April 2, 1999) Jack Sprague is gunning for his second straight win at Evergreen and a $100,000 bonus. Steady rain that began 15 minutes into Friday evening practice forced Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen Speedway to be postponed until Saturday.

Saturday's revised schedule calls for a half-hour practice from 12:30-1 p.m. ET, followed by a single round of Bud Pole Qualifying to set the field of up to 32 trucks. Each driver will get two laps in Bud Pole Qualifying, then the trucks will be impounded after qualifying with only minor, approved adjustments allowed.

The NAPACARD 200, the third race of the 1999 schedule, will begin at 4 p.m. ET. The event is the 100th race in the five-year history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and series sponsor Craftsman has posted a $100,000 bonus available to any one of five drivers who has competed in all 99 races to date.

The quintet includes defending series champion Ron Hornaday, 1997 champ Jack Sprague, former NASCAR Winston West Series champion Rick Carelli and Butch Miller. Joe Ruttman, the fifth driver eligible, had not filed an entry by Friday evening and more than likely will miss his first event in the history of the series.

Friday's weather was no surprise to some in the "garage area" of the county fairgrounds that houses the Evergreen oval.

"We thought we were fairly decent during the last practice session before the rain set in," said Greg Biffle, who hails from about three hours down the road in Vancouver, Wash. "Now we have to qualify on the race set-up tomorrow and that's going to be a first-time experience for us."

"This won't effect our strategy tomorrow because we don't have any strategy," Hornaday said. "Coming to a racetrack like Evergreen is one of those tough deals with the rain. We had a pretty good practice. We're going to go with the same set-up we had here last year and hope for the best. We're going to pull the fenders out on this Silverado and let the thing eat 'em up. This is going to be a tire management race. We'll see what we can do in the race.

"Sprague, who battled Hornaday to the wire for the 1998 championship before losing by three points, was quickest in the final practice, which only lasted 15 minutes. He turned a lap in 23.918 seconds, an average speed of 97.232 mph, in the No. 24 GMAC Chevrolet. That was slower than the best lap of the day, 23.613 seconds and 98.488 mph by Ron Barfield in the No. 55 Icehouse Beer Ford.

"If we can't get qualifying in we'll start on points and that's good for us," said Sprague, the defending winner of the event. "I've got a good truck but I've only got about six laps on it today. It feels good -- just about as good as the truck I had here last year and things worked out really well for us.

Carelli, the winner of a NASCAR Winston West Series race here, said he would be satisfied if the race started on points as well.

"What we practiced today was our race set-up for tomorrow," said Carelli, whose best lap in the No. 6 RE/MAX International Chevy was 23.759 seconds/97.883 mph. "We wanted to get this Silverado just a little better for the race then try a qualifying set-up and get it just a little bit better. This rain probably hurts us just a little bit but if it's anything like the truck was driving in the first practice we'll be OK."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Joe Ruttman , Rick Carelli , Ron Barfield , Butch Miller