Martinsville Pole Qualifying

Martinsville, VA---Joe Nemechek, who two weeks ago won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race, continued his hot streak Friday at Martinsville Speedway by taking the pole position for Sunday's $1,860,531, 44th annual NAPA AutoCare 500. ...

Martinsville, VA---Joe Nemechek, who two weeks ago won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race, continued his hot streak Friday at Martinsville Speedway by taking the pole position for Sunday's $1,860,531, 44th annual NAPA AutoCare 500. Nemechek, driving the same Bell South Chevrolet that carried him to victory at New Hampshire, set a record for the event with a speed of 95.223 miles per hour as 22 of the 25 qualifiers broke the former record of 94.129 miles per hour set here in 1994 by Ted Musgrave. Musgrave took the outside pole at 95.070 miles per hour followed by Geoffrey Bodine, Kyle Petty, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Kenny Wallace, defending race champion Ricky Rudd, John Andretti and Rich Bickle. "We had a perfect lap," Nemecheck said. "And I had a good feeling about qualifying since this is the same car we won with. There's nothing like winning. It gives you a big boost. Everybody on the crew is smiling and working hard to get another win. And starting up front here definitely is an advantage." Nemecheck, who had been replaced for next season by car owner Felix Sabates, will team up with Andy Petree Racing and Oakwood Homes as driver of the number 33 Chevrolet on the circuit for 2000 and 2001. Gordon will be making his first start without crew chief Ray Evernham, who has helped him to 47 wins and three titles since 1992 and has left the team. "We're happy with out fifth place starting position," said new crew chief Brian Whitesell. Dale Jarrett, who has a 257 point lead over Martin in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, qualified 14th. "I've struggled here in qualifying so it was nice to get in a pretty solid lap," Jarrett said. "I'd like to try to win this race and we know we can run pretty well here. "It's been an exciting week for me already. I got to play golf with Arnold Palmer yesterday and got home in time to see Zachery (his son) score three goals in his soccer game." Mike Smith won the 30-lap John Deere/Anderson Tractor Allison Legacy Series race following the time trials. Starting positions 26 through 36 will be decided in second round trials at 11:15 a.m. Saturday. Seven provisional starters will complete the 43-car field for Sunday. Sharing the spotlight on Saturday will be the $85,690 Goody's Body Pain 200 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour race. Time trials for that event will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with 27 spots determined in qualifying and seven provisionals up for grabs for a field of 34 cars. Edward Flemke holds the Goody's Body Pain 200 qualifying record for the division with a speed of 98.548 miles per hour. That race starts at 1 p.m. with point leader Tony Hirschman needing only to start the event to win the 1999 championship. Hirschman has six victories this season, including three in a row, while Mike Ewanitsko will be going after his third straight Martinsville win. Admission for Saturday is $25 for adults with children 6-12 $5. The NAPA AutoCare 500 starts at 1 p.m. Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Reserved seats remain for $40-$45 while 8,000 unreserved seats go on sale race morning at $35 with children 6-12 $5.

Steve Sheppard Senior Director of Corporate Communications Martinsville Speedway http://www.martinsvillespeedway.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Rich Bickle , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Geoffrey Bodine , Kyle Petty , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Ted Musgrave , Andy Petree , Edward Flemke , Felix Sabates , Mark Martin , Mike Smit