In a race traditionally characterized by three-wide racing and desperate last-minute moves, Stacy Compton and crew chief Chad Knaus opted to pull out of line in today's Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying race, saving a very strong No. 92 Kodiak Dodge...
In a race traditionally characterized by three-wide racing and desperate last-minute moves, Stacy Compton and crew chief Chad Knaus opted to pull out of line in today's Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying race, saving a very strong No. 92 Kodiak Dodge for Sunday's Daytona 500.
"Today's race was just kind of a test for Sunday," said Compton. "We were already safely in the field, so when guys started running three and four wide, it just wasn't worth the risk of wrecking a good race car. That's the luxury of our second-place qualifying run -- it was up to us whether to race hard or lay back and play it safe. We learned a lot today, and we saw that we had some things to work on before Sunday. But the best news is that we have a good race car that's in one piece."
Compton, who started from the pole position in the second 50-lap qualifying race, led for three laps before surrendering the point position to Ward Burton. The Kodiak Dodge got hung out of the draft, falling as low as 11th before Knaus suggested that Compton drop to the rear of the field.
Compton rode in 24th until a caution on lap 36 gave the Kodiak team an opportunity to regain track position. A two-tire stop by the Kodiak over-the-wall crew bumped Compton from 22nd to seventh when the race restarted on lap 40. Just three laps later, as the field returned to a three-wide draft, Compton and Knaus again voted for the conservative approach. The No. 92 Kodiak Dodge crossed the finish line in 23rd.
The No. 92 Kodiak Dodge will start from the front row in the 43rd annual Daytona 500. The race airs live on FOX and MRN Radio affiliates at 1 p.m. eastern/ 12 noon central, this Sunday, Feb. 18th.