CONCORD, N.H. (July 9, 2000) - Chad Little and the John Deere crew have an off weekend next week, and after this weekend's race at New Hampshire International Speedway, it will be a welcomed break. Qualifying for Sunday's thatlook.com 300 wasn't...
CONCORD, N.H. (July 9, 2000) - Chad Little and the John Deere crew have an off weekend next week, and after this weekend's race at New Hampshire International Speedway, it will be a welcomed break. Qualifying for Sunday's thatlook.com 300 wasn't a problem for the team, and with only 44 competitors vying for a spot in the 43-car field, Little and the team made the decision to re-qualify on Saturday during second-round qualifying after a disappointing first-round effort on Friday. Rather than take a chance on using a provisional, and based upon their faster practice times, Little and the team returned to the track on Saturday to put the John Deere Ford in the top 36. The team accomplished that goal, and Little qualified the John Deere Ford in the 34th position for Sunday's 300-lap race around New Hampshire International Speedway's 1.058-mile oval. It didn't take long for the action to get heated on Sunday. Just six laps into the race, Little was involved in an incident with the No. 5 car of Terry Labonte as the two cars drove side-by-side exiting Turn 4. The two cars made heavy contact and Little ran into the outside wall, while Labonte hit the inside retaining wall. It was evident that Little's No. 97 Ford was damaged beyond repair, but the immediate concern was placed on Little's safety. Exiting the car under his own power, Little was immediately taken to the infield care center where he was checked over by the track's medical staff. The preliminary diagnosis had Little with a broken right collarbone, and he was immediately taken to Concord (N.H.) Hospital for additional tests and x-rays. All x-rays were negative, however, and Little was released shortly after 3:00 p.m. EDT. The John Deere team, by way of their five-lap run, finished the race in 42nd position. The John Deere team now has a weekend off before their second trip of the season to Pocono. Little currently sits in the 22nd position in the Winston Cup point standings, but a strong run in two weeks could cut down the 117 point deficit between him and the 15th-place car of Jeremy Mayfield. Little's Quotes
"Terry (Labonte) and I were racing going into (Turn) 3, and as we exited (Turn) 4, we made contact. I'm not too sure what happened. I remained conscious in the car, but I had the wind knocked out of me. We had a good race car, a brand new race car, and I hated to end this weekend like this.
"Right now I'm sore. Everything turned out negative, and when they told me that I felt about ten times better. I have a big bruise on my right shoulder past my collarbone where the (safety) belts grabbed, and I'm sure that I'll feel that for the next couple of days. It was a violent hit, but I'm thankful that nothing is broken.
"We have an off weekend to recuperate, and I'm going ahead with my vacation plans. I'll take it easy this week, and will be in the car at Pocono."