Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart Friday notebook By Brett Borden MIAMI (Nov. 12, 1999 Notes and quotes from Friday's Bud Pole Qualifying for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Following a multi-car accident that...
Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart Friday notebook By Brett Borden
MIAMI (Nov. 12, 1999 Notes and quotes from Friday's Bud Pole Qualifying for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Following a multi-car accident that claimed the life of Team SABCO crew member Thomas 'T.L.' Stiles yesterday, passenger Len Sherrill has been upgraded to good condition. Mr. Sherrill was released from the Intensive Care Unit at Carolina Medical Center, but remains in the hospital in good condition.
A viewing for Mr. Stiles will take place Sunday from 7-8:30 p.m. ET at the McEwen Funeral Home in Mint Hill, N.C. The funeral is at the Blair Road Methodist Church, 9135 Blair Road, Mint Hill, N.C. on Monday at 1 p.m. ET. A college fund for Mr. Stiles' children has been established. Donations can be made to the Thomas Stiles Children College Fund, c/o BB&T, 7716 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Charlotte, N.C.
Both Team SABCO teams were scheduled to test their 2000 Monte Carlos at Miami on Monday and Tuesday, but the team cancelled those plans.
Rusty Wallace will be the subject of a new book: Rusty Wallace: The Decision to Win. Written by Bob Zeller, the book details Wallace's climb to the top of the NASCAR ranks, culminating in his 1989 championship. In the book, Wallace and members of his family discuss his career from his roots at the short tracks of St. Louis, Mo. to his success on the most well-known tracks in the country.
The man on the verge of a championship, Dale Jarrett, needs to pick up only four spots on Sunday, three if he leads a lap, to clinch his first title. Jarrett will start 12th in the Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford. "That's a good lap for us," Jarrett said. "That's the fastest we've been since we've been here and that's what you look to do. We got a good draw, things cooled off for us, and Todd and these guys worked awful hard. We changed engines about three times and thanks to Robert and Doug Yates and all the engine guys for working that hard with us and getting the job done. We've got the first part of the equation out of the way here, getting a decent starting spot, and then we'll go after it Sunday."
Bobby Labonte is doing his part in his quest to postpone Jarrett's party. The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac will start third on Sunday. Like Jarrett, Labonte said he didn't leave much out on the track. "It was a good lap for us," Labonte said. "I might have gotten a little tight in (Turns) 1 and 2. That's the best we've run all day. It seems like it's been eternity since yesterday. We've knocked off some things trying to get better. It was a good run for us. I think I drove into 1 a little too hard. I got up a little high in the center. That wasn't where I'd been running all day. Overall, it was a great lap, we just didn't have enough for a couple of guys."
Just call him "Armed" Andretti. John Andretti qualified second on Friday in the No. 43 STP Pontiac. He has 13 top-10 qualifying efforts this year in 33 races, but five of those have come in the past seven races. "We did a lot of race runs Thursday," Andretti said. "We've done everything right so far. The way we did our tires and everything today worked. Our team is really on top of it and that's what makes me feel good. It's nice to be near the top of the board, too. I was always known as a superspeedway guy. Now I'm a flat track guy. I think I can run good anywhere."
Pontiacs claimed the top five positions on the starting grid. David Green earned the 10th Bud Pole for Pontiac on the season.
Dave Blaney scored his career-best qualifying effort in his fifth career race. His previous best was 20th at Indianapolis earlier this year. He qualified fourth Friday. "We really wanted to back up what we did in practice," Blaney said. "It's getting a little later here and cooler and that makes the car go a little faster. We've been tickled all day. The thing has been handling great. I hope it continues all weekend. We've been pretty consistent on our speeds. If I could have just run what we did I would have been happy, but for sure I wanted to get this thing in first round qualifying. It was great."
Rick Mast had the fastest non-Pontiac in the field on Friday. The veteran driver of the No. 98 Team Woody Ford placed sixth on the grid. "If we hadn't gotten in the top-10 today we would have been pretty discouraged because we were in there all day yesterday and today for the most part. We unloaded about 40th quickest and just worked with the car. Within a couple of hours we got it in the top 10 and ended in the top-5. Today, it was just tweaking on the car a little bit."
Jeremy Mayfield put in a good lap in his No. 12 Mobil 1 Taurus. The Owensboro, Ky. native qualified eighth. "Man, that's the best time we've had since we've been here," Mayfield said. "I'm just real proud of these guys on the Mobil 1 team and everybody at the shop, the engine shop ... everybody's done a great job."