Indianapolis: Petty Enterprises qualifying report

Jimmie Johnson was the fastest car during Saturday's time trials for the prestigious Allstate 400 at the Brickyard held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday. Veteran Mark Martin will start ...

Jimmie Johnson was the fastest car during Saturday's time trials for the prestigious Allstate 400 at the Brickyard held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday. Veteran Mark Martin will start alongside.

On most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends qualifying will take place on Friday afternoon. Indianapolis, however, is one of the few tracks that hold qualifying on Saturday morning. This means that going out early in qualifying, when temperatures are cool, is a premium because Indianapolis is a very sensitive to outside temperatures. Four of the top five qualifiers went out in the first 22 cars.

Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Cheerios Racing/Totino's Dodge team will start the 400-mile event from the 26th position. B. Labonte, the 2000 winner of this event, had a 'loose' racecar during Friday's practice sessions. Crew chief Jeff Meendering went to work after the practice sessions and came up with several changes to improve the handling. The car responded well as B. Labonte was happy with his car and likes his chances for tomorrow.

"Jeff made some great adjustments to the car," sounded B. Labonte. "We were really 'loose' yesterday and you don't want to be too 'loose' getting into these corners because they are fast and flat. The car was comfortable in qualifying, but the track will continue to change. It will change a lot during the course of the race, so we have to stay on top of our adjustments to keep up with the track."

Terry Labonte and the No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge team will start tomorrow's race from the 43rd position. T. Labonte also had to deal with a 'loose' chassis during practice. He and crew chief Stewart Cooper continue to work well together and the car was better during qualifying as T. Labonte picked up just under .5 seconds from his practice time.

"It's always good when you can pick up from practice," sounded T. Labonte. "It's hard to find a balance here with these new cars, but Stewart did a great job from practice to qualifying. We have two more practice sessions this afternoon, so we should have a good grasp of what the car needs for tomorrow."

Sunday's race will be televised live on ESPN. It will be broadcast live on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and Sirius Channel 128. Pre-race coverage is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM EST.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin