Ganassi Racing Darlington II report

DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 31, 2001) - The No. 40 and No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teams secured promising starting positions during Friday's qualifying for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Sterling Marlin, ...

DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 31, 2001) - The No. 40 and No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teams secured promising starting positions during Friday's qualifying for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T, qualified 12th for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 with a time of 29.448 seconds (166.993 mph) around the 1.366-mile speedway.

"I thought we could run a little faster, but this is a new car," Marlin said. "We haven't run it all year and we've been tweaking on it. This is a sister car to the one we had at Michigan. We kept working on it and it's ready to go now."

"There's a big bump off turn two and it hasn't got much grip," Marlin said. "It'll be slide 'em all day Sunday. We've had a lot of good runs here, but we haven't contended for a win in awhile. Maybe we'll get up there Sunday."

Lee McCall, crew chief of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, was pleased with Marlin and the team's effort.

"We've got a brand new car here at Darlington this weekend," said McCall. "We built some characteristics into it like our Michigan car. We thought that would work real good out here and so far it's turned out to be pretty good. I think our qualifying run was basic for a new car. We gained a lot in that practice session this morning and I think it was a good effort by Sterling and all the guys."

Jason Leffler, rookie driver of the No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T, turned in a qualifying lap with a time of 29.957 seconds (164.155 mph). Leffler took a provisional and will start the race in 38th position.

"During qualifying the car was a lot looser than what we had practiced at," said Matt Chambers, crew chief of the No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge. "We made some changes but I guess we didn't go far enough with the changes. Right now we're working hard on race setup and looking to move up through the pack on Sunday."

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 will be broadcast on TNT this Sunday, September 2nd at 1:00 p.m., e.s.t.

-cgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jason Leffler , Sterling Marlin , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing