Las Vegas 400 Saturday notebook By Shawn A. Akers LAS VEGAS (March 6, 1999) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: A big, big relief for Buckshot Jones and Buckshot Racing. Jones, ...
Las Vegas 400 Saturday notebook By Shawn A. Akers
LAS VEGAS (March 6, 1999) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
A big, big relief for Buckshot Jones and Buckshot Racing. Jones, who missed qualifying for the first two races of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie season, made it into the field for Sunday's Las Vegas 400 following Bud Second-Round Qualifying on Saturday and will start the race from the 35th position.
The driver of the No. 00 Crown Fiber Pontiac stood on his first-round Bud Pole Qualifying speed of 167.297 mph, then watched anxiously as 11 cars qualified in the second round. None of the 11 came close to topping Jones' speed.
"This is huge," Jones said. "It's bad for the guys, too, when you go home. Morale gets down. We're learning. Everybody we have on this team is mostly from the Busch Series and it's going to take a while for us to learn some of this stuff.
"There may be other rookie drivers out there, but they're with teams composed of veterans that have been in Winston Cup. We've been learning a whole lot. We've been behind a little bit. Yesterday (Friday), we were good enough to get in the show."
On the other side of things, a familiar name will be missing from Sunday's lineup. Kyle Petty, who hasn't missed a race since 1996, failed to qualify for the 43-car field after a mediocre second-round run on Saturday morning of 165.138 mph.
Petty was only 39th-fastest out of 52 cars who attempted to qualify Friday during Bud Pole Qualifying, with a lap of 167.022 mph. It's the first race he's missed while driving the No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac.
It was a tough, tough weekend for Ted Musgrave. Not only did Musgrave miss qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Sam's Town 300, but he also won't race on Sunday, either.
The No. 75 Remington Arms Ford team packed up Saturday after a poor second-round effort 165.593 mph, good enough for 41st fastest out of 52 cars. Musgrave was the only one of 17 NASCAR Winston Cup Series regulars who attempted to make the Sam's Town 300 on Saturday that did not.
"This is a real supportive team and that's what we were dealt with, a no-catch fence, but that's the way it is," Musgrave said. "There's nothing we can do about it. I just got messed up on that qualifying, and with no catch-fence to fall back on points-wise, the way the scenario worked out the guys that took the provisionals&who would have ever thought that Rusty (Wallace) and Dale (Earnhardt) and all them guys up there would have to take provisionals and kind of scarf them away from the guys down here, but that's the way it is."
Apparently, all good things must come to an end. At least for Dave Marcis.
The driver of the No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet, who made the field for both of the first two events of the season, failed to qualify for Sunday's race. He was only 49th-fastest out of 52 cars.
Marcis, who turned 58 on Monday, had a good string going early on this season considering the fact that he missed 20 races a year ago.
The No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet continued its early-season qualifying misfortune. The team failed to qualify for the first two races with Dan Pardus behind the wheel in Daytona and Billy Standridge driving the car at Rockingham.
Ron Hornaday didn't fare much better at Las Vegas. The defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion was only 47th-fastest out of 52 cars.
Team officials have said that Pardus tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week and will be back in the car for next weekend's Cracker Barrel 500.
Morgan Shepherd had a brief stint on the track Saturday morning. The veteran replaced Jeff Davis in the No. 92 Big Daddy's Barbecue Sauce Ford for second-round qualifying, but wound up only 50th-fastest with a lap of 159.763 mph.
David "W.W." Munari, Miller Lite Team Penske's body shop manager and "pit lieutenant" for crew chief Robin Pemberton on race days, was scheduled to marry long-time sweetheart Jamie Jenkins on Saturday night at the Treasure Island Chapel in Las Vegas.
Roger Penske was expected to fly in for the wedding. The newlyweds will honeymoon in a condo on Lake Mead next week.
Sherman Tucker, husband of Judy Tucker, died early Thursday morning in Las Vegas after a sudden illness. Judy Tucker is one of NASCAR's greatest goodwill ambassadors and a friend to many in the sport. She was in town to work with the media staff for the Las Vegas 400 this weekend.
Graveside services will be held Tuesday, March 9, at 11 a.m. ET at Steel Creek Presbyterian Church on North Carolina Highway 160, near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. In addition to flowers, donations in honor of Sherman Tucker can be made to the Carolina Raptor Center at:
Carolina Raptor Center P.O. Box 16443 Charlotte, NC 28297
Source: NASCAR Online