BUSCH: Darlington Friday notes

PEE DEE EDUCATION FOUNDATION BIG RIG SHOW & AUCTION NOTES On Thursday evening, March 21, 10 NASCAR "big rigs" participated in a show and auction at the Florence Civic Center to benefit the Pee Dee Education Foundation, which provides support to...

PEE DEE EDUCATION FOUNDATION BIG RIG SHOW & AUCTION NOTES

On Thursday evening, March 21, 10 NASCAR "big rigs" participated in a show and auction at the Florence Civic Center to benefit the Pee Dee Education Foundation, which provides support to the public school system in an eight-county area in Eastern South Carolina for special projects. The event included a charity auction of racing memorabilia and an appearance and R/C car race between NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Ricky Rudd and Derrike Cope. Rudd defeated Cope in a 10-lap "heat race" after which both drivers signed one of the cars and it was auctioned. Rudd had enjoyed the race so much he posted the top bid of $350 and took the car home to play with it with his son, Landon. Following the heat race two attendees bid on "match races" against Rudd and Cope. The 10 truck drivers on hand included Randall Helbert of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Bud Green of Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Dave Mitchell of Kranefuss/Haas Racing, Tommy Mullis of Robert Yates Racing (No. 88), NASCAR inspector Hoss Berry, Bob Holt of Hendrick Motorsports (No. 5), Steve Guy of Petty Enterprises, Jackie Miles of Diamond Ridge Motorsports, Vance Howell of Cale Yarborough Motorsports and Steve Foster of Robert Yates Racing (No. 28).

DURA-LUBE 200 PRESENTED BY PEP BOYS PRE-RACE NOTES

PATTY MOISE (No. 14 Dial-Purex Ford) -- I feel like that little girl in the movie 'Poltergeist.' I'm baaaaaaaack! (Moise missed the last two Busch Series races at Nashville and Atlanta and started and drove part of the race at Richmond after breaking the bone immediately below her left knee in a crash at Rockingham, N.C., on Feb. 24.) So far my knee is feeling pretty good -- better than it was last week. It really feels good to be driving again. (Moise was replaced by her husband, team co-owner Elton Sawyer.)

JASON KELLER (No. 57 Slim Jim Chevrolet) -- Keller, 26, shaved his mustache -- which he's worn since he was 16-years-old -- earlier this week in an attempt to change the abysmal luck he's experienced this season. Keller has crashed in races at Daytona and Nashville and wrecked another car in practice at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham. After five races Keller is in 19th in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, 320 points out of first.

BUSCH POLE AWARD QUALIFYING -- DURA-LUBE 200 PRESENTED BY PEP BOYS

JEFF GREEN (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- David (older brother David Green) drove this car earlier today. I guess he got me tuned up for this race track when he ran the car faster than I had. It made me work harder. It's been a long time since I've been here. You've got to go after this track and think it's going to come to you. In qualifying, I went after it. The first lap was strong and I stayed with it for the next lap. The car was perfect. I don't think it could have been any better. If I could have done anything to make the car better, I don't know what it would be. We're looking forward to Saturday. Things are finally starting to come around for us. We hope to turn the season around here. We haven't done much so far this year so, hopefully, we start doing things tomorrow. It's been tough because, at times, you want to get down on yourself. You can't let that happen because it can happen real quick. The pole will make the team feel a lot better. I feel a lot better myself.

DAVID GREEN (On helping his brother) -- Jeff's car was good when I drove it this morning. In fact, it ran so good it made me go back and work on my car to make it better. I'm probably more excited for Jeff and him winning the pole than I would be if I won the pole. He's the youngest (of three brothers) and I've always said he's the best driver in the family. I'm proud that both he and I are starting in the top four. I'm really looking forward to Saturday. BOBBY LABONTE (No. 44 Shell Oil Chevrolet) -- We're having a bit of fun here. I think that's about as fast as I could go in the car.

WARD BURTON (No. 22 MBNA America Pontiac) -- We ran an OK lap, but not a good one. We may not have gotten the engine oil hot enough before I went out. The first lap was good, but the second wasn't that much better.

MIKE McLAUGHLIN (No. 34 Royal Oak Charcoal Chevrolet) -- I'd say that wasn't too shabby. We didn't have such a good second lap, though. I anticipated getting loose in (turns) one and two but we didn't. My anticipation cost me some time. We're ready for the race, but you never really know at Darlington how your day will go. We need to go home with a good finish.

DAVID GREEN (No. 95 Caterpillar Chevrolet) -- The way I see it when Mark Martin cut his .608 that was the mark to shoot for. If myself and Mike McLaughlin and the other Busch regulars don't take aim at what the Winston Cup stars do then we won't get better. I feel we ran real good.

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 2 DuPont Teflon/Krytox Chevrolet) -- We fought motor problems all morning. Finally, in the last session we changed the carburetor and the problem cleared up. The car ran good in qualifying, but we'll be better in the race tomorrow. I feel we'll run good in the race.

DALE JARRETT (No. 32 BandAid Ford) -- We lost some engine rpm for some reason and didn't really get the potential from the car we thought we had.

DICK TRICKLE (No. 64 DuraLube Chevrolet) -- We ran about what we ran in practice. I had hoped to pick up a tenth or two. We might have been hurt by the wind some, but I'm not sure. We'll race OK.

RANDY LAJOIE (No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- It wasn't too bad but it could have been better. I thought I had a really good first lap so I eased off a bit. I probably should have kept in it and cut a stronger second lap. Who knows?

HERMIE SADLER (No. 1 DeWalt Tools Chevrolet) -- Considering the problems we had at the start of the day, I'd say we did good. We picked up a full second through practice from where we started. Now we've got to work hard to get a good stable race car for Saturday.

MARC RENO (Crew chief No. 4 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet) -- He's got a couple broken ribs from Nashville (regular driver Jeff Purvis) so Sterling (Marlin) was good enough to qualify and race for us. We're hoping to get Jeff in good enough shape to at least run to the first caution. It'll be tough because he had a hard time this morning. He only made one lap and that was all he could do -- he thought he was all right but it only took him one lap to realize he couldn't drive. He was so out of breath he couldn't even tell us why he pulled in. He's hurting pretty bad. Then we went into 'Plan B' and asked Sterling and he said he'd do it. We need Jeff to start for the points situation, but if he has to pull in on the first lap he will. We're hoping he can make it to the first caution.

SHANE HALL (No. 85 Stegall Motorsports Chevrolet) -- (Scrubbed wall with right side of car coming off turn two in qualifying.) We had a pretty good first lap and the car felt real good. They called out the time to me coming across the line and I knew we needed a little bit more. I just kinda got into one and got over my head. We had never been here before and I'm kinda learning my limits -- what I can do and what I can't. (What's his goal for the DURA-LUBE 200?) If we can just stay out of trouble I think we'll end up with a top- 20 finish. That's all we're looking for, to stay out of trouble. If we can get a top-15 or top-20 finish it'll be a happy day for us.

CHAD LITTLE (No. 23 John Deere Pontiac) -- I think our car is capable of a lot better speed than what our time showed. The car feels really good in the corners and that's where you have to be good at Darlington. I'm comfortable with the way the car is set up so we'll concentrate on finding some more power from the engine now. We'll have to be careful making our way through the pack tomorrow but we should be in good shape.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Derrike Cope , Darrell Waltrip , Elton Sawyer , Mike McLaughlin , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Robert Yates , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Yates Racing , Phoenix Racing