Spencer earns spot in NAPA Auto Parts 300 Shawn A. Akers - NASCAR Online DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 1998) Second-round Bud Beer Qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona ...
Spencer earns spot in NAPA Auto Parts 300
Shawn A. Akers - NASCAR Online
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 1998)
Second-round Bud Beer Qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway proved profitable for only one driver Wednesday afternoon.
Of the 15 that attempted to re-qualify for Saturday's 300-mile event, only Jimmy Spencer was able to improve enough upon his time and speed to crack the top 36. Spencer's lap of 184.328 mph in the Zippo Chevrolet boosted him up to the 30th starting position. He had finished only 44th in first-round Bud Pole Qualifying on Tuesday.
A NASCAR Winston Cup Series regular, Spencer was a two-time winner in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1997. He finished 39th in last year's season opener.
Five provisional spots were awarded to Elton Sawyer, Tim Fedewa, Jason Keller, Mark Green and Stevie Reeves. The past champions provisional was awarded to Bobby Labonte, who was asked by Dale Jarrett to attempt to requalify Jarrett's No. 32 White Rain Ford. Labonte managed a lap of only 182.552 mph, which ended up as the 47th-fastest speed, but he'll get into the race by virtue of his 1991 NASCAR Busch Series championship.
It wasn't decided until virtually the last moment that Labonte would drive the car. During the morning practice sessions for NASCAR Busch Series cars, Jarrett had put both Steve Grissom and his son, Jason, in the No. 32 White Rain Ford before opting for Labonte.
With Patty Moise ill and back in her motel room on Wednesday, 1995 NASCAR Busch Series champion Johnny Benson was chosen to try and requalify the No. 14 Michael Waltrip-owned Rhodes Furniture Ford. Benson, however, managed a lap of only 183.262 mph, good enough for only 41st-quickest.
Benson was not considered for the past champions provisional because he did not participate in a NASCAR Busch Series race in 1997.
The biggest setback in second-round qualifying Wednesday was suffered by the Lyndon Amick-piloted No. 35 SCANA/Myrtle Beach/SC Pontiac team. Amick was 35th going into Wednesday's second round and would have qualified for the race had he stood on his time, but he didn't. Amick ran a lap of 183.367 mph, and lost four spots to 39th.
With 15 drivers attempting to requalify, however, Amick said he and his team didn't want to take a chance of standing pat. Being a second team with no provisionals, however, Amick and his team won't be around to take the green flag on Saturday.
It's the second straight year that the team won't participate in the season opener.
Amick's misfortune turned into a blessing for Robert Pressley. The driver of the No. 59 Kingsford/Matchlight Chevrolet and his team decided to stand on their Tuesday first-round speed of 183.614 mph, and will start from the 36th position.
Other notables who failed to make the season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300 on Saturday were: Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Larry Pearson; Ron Barfield in the No. 2 Ricky Craven-owned New Holland Chevrolet; Jimmy Foster, in his first qualifying attempt for the new No. 50 Washington-Erving Dr. Pepper Ford team; Derrike Cope; Dale Shaw and Lance Hooper, attempting to make his debut in the No. 23 World Championship Wrestling Chevrolet.