Darlington Saturday notes

In Busch Beer Second-Round Qualifying, Brett Bodine grabbed the 21st starting spot in the 42-car field with a speed of 168.486 mph. Kenny Wallace and Brad Teague, driving Jimmy Means' car, were the only drivers who failed to qualify. In the...

In Busch Beer Second-Round Qualifying, Brett Bodine grabbed the 21st starting spot in the 42-car field with a speed of 168.486 mph. Kenny Wallace and Brad Teague, driving Jimmy Means' car, were the only drivers who failed to qualify.

In the other major development on Saturday, Jimmy Hensley practiced Mike Wallace's #90 Heilig Meyers Ford in anticipation of possibly driving the car in Sunday's TranSouth Financial 400. Wallace took a hard shot during the Mark III Vans 200 and wanted to have a relief driver available, if needed.

SATURDAY NOTES

DALE EARNHARDT (#3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- (On rumors of his driving in the Indianapolis 500.) It's nice to be asked to drive and it's a great opportunity, but I'm not going to. I'm going to concentrate on (winning) my eighth Winston Cup championship. I hope that puts to rest all the rumors.

CHUCK BOWN ON HIS RETURN TO NASCAR WINSTON CUP RACING

CHUCK BOWN (#32 Active Trucking Chevrolet) -- We knew this day was coming and it's finally here! Barely! (Bown has been sidelined since an accident in the UAW-GM Teamwork 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 1994.) I haven't tested much -- I'd have liked to have tested more. We didn't test here at Darlington. It feels awful good to get back behind the wheel. I'm really looking forward to running 400 miles Sunday and getting the seat time that I need. I don't know how conservative we'll be, but I would like to see the checkered flag. It's a personal goal of mine to finish, good or bad, but I'm not just going to ride. I'm going to run hard, but I'm not going to take any crazy chances -- you can't do that and survive. I don't know how hard I'm going to be able to run, but I'm going to run as hard as I can.

(How did he feel about having to really fight to make the race?) The heat was on! The first two days here didn't go like I hoped or anticipated. We blew an oil line off right off the bat and that cost us the first practice session. I just kind of took a chance in qualifying that it would stick and hung it out a bit farther and I didn't make it. I had a good lap going but I lost it coming off turn four and got the wall a little bit. Fortunately it didn't hurt the car much and we were able to come back today with the same car. I knew I had to be a little conservative (in Second- Round Qualifying) 'cause I had one shot and I wanted to be in this race. We made it, but not very easily. Even today, on the last time out before qualifying, we blew a steering box and we had to change it in order to qualify. We were late, but we made it! We're thankful we're not loading up and going home. The new surface was a new monkey wrench thrown into the equation. You've got to drive the track a bit different. Right now there's only one groove and it's pretty narrow, but it's been consistently getting better.

(Did Bown test anywhere other than at Richmond, prior to Speedweeks at Daytona?) We've just tested at Bristol. We went there Tuesday a week ago, for two days. We probably logged about 150 laps all together. I was pretty optimistic that my eyesight was going to be back all the way, so we brought one of last year's Luminas to do a long run with. We wanted to get some laps on a quick, fast race track and we thought Bristol would be the best test of my eyesight on the whole Winston Cup circuit. On Tuesday we did one 50-lap run. My eyes held up great and my times were consistent. I felt really good, and I made a deal with Dean Myers and Active Motorsports that very night, for the rest of the year with an option to be discussed in September for '96. We unloaded a Monte Carlo and tested for the Bristol race the next day.

(Did he run with other cars at Bristol?) No, I didn't. The biggest problem had been a dancing or jumping around of my right eye. That caused more of a problem with the track surface or the wall, which weren't moving when I was. When I tested at Bristol that was gone. I think cars that were moving as fast as I was would've been easier to see even when I wasn't seeing good. Happy hour will be my first chance to really run in traffic. My eyesight's been just like it was before, so I don't anticipate any problems.

(On the Active Motorsports team.) It's been a nice arrangement. I've been around since the first of January, so I got to know the guys before I even got behind the wheel. I've known (crew chief) Mike Hillman since 1989. I think he's pretty sharp. There's a heckuva lot of potential there. The total package is there to be a real good race team. We've been aggressively looking for a sponsor. Dean has said he intends to go racing, with or without a sponsor, and he's giving us whatever it takes to run well. We're about the only team that's committed to run 'em all that doesn't have a sponsor. We want to get out there and have some good runs.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brett Bodine , Jimmy Hensley , Brad Teague