Martinsville Qualifying Report

Biffle wins third straight Bud Pole By Shawn A. Akers MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 25, 1998) It's just one of those things that, even if he thought about it for years, Greg Biffle would never be able to explain. The NASCAR Craftsman...

Biffle wins third straight Bud Pole By Shawn A. Akers

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 25, 1998) It's just one of those things that, even if he thought about it for years, Greg Biffle would never be able to explain.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie, who admittedly had a "lousy" practice session on Friday morning and was just hoping for a frontstretch pit stall, pulled off the unexpected Friday afternoon by winning the Bud Pole for Saturday's NAPA 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

The driver of the No. 50 Grainger Ford won his third straight Bud Pole, following performances at Memphis Motorsports Park and Gateway International Raceway. It was his fourth Bud Pole of the 1998 season, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record for rookies.

"There must be something in the air, I don't know," said Biffle, who toured the .526-mile oval in a speed of 91.891 mph, just edging out Mike Bliss (91.882 mph) for the top spot. "We were terrible in practice. I mean terrible. And we couldn't understand why this morning because we had come here to test and we did just fine.

"After the practice we decided to change everything. By everything I mean the springs, the shocks, the sway bar, everything. All we were hoping for was a spot on the frontstretch, and look what happened. I can't understand how we did it, but we did, and I'm very proud of our team for what we've accomplished with qualifying, now we just have to be there at the end to win a race."

Biffle tied an NCTS record of three consecutive Bud Poles, set by Bliss last season. However, he's still looking for his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory.

"What we need now is a little bit of luck in the race, especially at the end," Biffle said. "I'd gladly trade all of these poles for a win, that's for sure. We've been working hard, and we want to experience that first win. That will give us a lot of confidence heading into next year."

Rich Bickle , the winner of last year's NAPA 250, qualified third with a lap of 91.771 mph in the No. 15 Turbine Solutions Ford.

"This isn't as good a truck as we had for last year's race, but it's getting there," said Bickle, who drives Cale Yarborough's No. 98 Thorn Apple Valley Taurus in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "We're happy with third because this truck is good, and we think we've got a legitimate shot at winning the race. Martinsville's a good track for us, and we're really looking forward to tomorrow."

Jimmy Hensley qualified fourth, followed by Boris Said, Ron Hornaday, Mike Wallace, Bobby Hamilton, B.A. Wilson and Jay Sauter.

Jack Sprague, who leads the series point standings by five points over Hornaday, qualified 11th. The top-31 trucks made it in the field on time, with five provisionals. Joe Ruttman, Ron Barfield, Tom Hubert, Lance Norick and Tom Carey were forced to take provisionals.

      Greg Marlowe, Carl Long, Nipper Alsup, Mike Olsen, Donny Ling Jr.,
Ronnie Newman, Jeff Spraker and Ryan McGlynn all failed to make the field.   

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rich Bickle , Bobby Hamilton , Boris Said , Greg Biffle , Jay Sauter , Mike Wallace , Tom Hubert , Jack Sprague , Joe Ruttman , Ryan McGlynn , Jimmy Hensley , Carl Long , Ron Barfield , Jeff Spraker , Cale Yarborough