Rain creates one-day party at Gateway By Dave Rodman MADISON, Ill. (July 28, 2000) Cars were covered for much of the day Friday at Gateway International Raceway. Daylong rain showers Friday forced postponement of practice and Bud ...
Rain creates one-day party at Gateway
By Dave Rodman
MADISON, Ill. (July 28, 2000) Cars were covered for much of the day Friday at Gateway International Raceway. Daylong rain showers Friday forced postponement of practice and Bud Pole Qualifying for the fourth annual NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division CARQUEST Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Raceway to Saturday.
The series will now run consecutive one-day shows, at Gateway on Saturday and the Aug. 4 Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
At the 1.25-mile Gateway oval, the NASCAR Busch Series garage area will open at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday. A 90-minute practice session is scheduled from 10-11:30 a.m. ET.
Bud Pole Qualifying to set the 43-car field for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 250 is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. ET. Casey Atwood is the track's Bud Pole Qualifying record holder, with a lap of 33.982 seconds, an average speed of 132.423 mph set one year ago.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is currently running for NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, won the last two CARQUEST Auto Parts 250s and set the race record last year of 104.566 mph.
Jeff Green currently has a dominant lead in the series point standings. The driver of the Nestle NesQuik Chevrolet is 552 points ahead of teammate Jason Keller, driver of the Excedrin Chevrolet. Green said running the entire event in one day would make little difference in the teams' preparations, since no one got on the race track Friday.
"Gateway is a tricky place to try to figure out because the ends of the track are completely different," said Green, who has won both previous night races this season from the Bud Pole. "One corner is big and sweeping with no banking and the other corner is tight with banking, so you are tight on one end and loose on the other.
"That means it is really hard to get the setup right for both ends. Typically, you will be good through one corner and not so good through the other."
Green has pancaked the competition this season, scoring 15 top-5 and 17 top-10 finishes in 20 starts. Green made his first start at Gateway last season and posted a fourth place finish.
"I was really happy about posting a top-5 finish in last year's event," Green said. "We led a few laps during the event, but we missed the setup a little at the beginning. It took us the whole race to figure out the setup needed to get around the track, but once we did, we were real fast, but had nothing for Dale Jr. at the end."
That won't be a problem this time for Green, while point chasers Keller, Todd Bodine and Elton Sawyer, along with NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemechek and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series hometowner Mike Wallace will try to make a strong challenge.