Michigan Friday Notes

Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Friday Notebook By Shawn A. Akers BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 14, 1998) Some notes and quotes Friday from Bud Pole Qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pepsi 400 presented by Devilbiss at Michigan...

Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Friday Notebook By Shawn A. Akers

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 14, 1998) Some notes and quotes Friday from Bud Pole Qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pepsi 400 presented by Devilbiss at Michigan Speedway:

The qualifying woes for the Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus team just keep on going.

Earnhardt, who has only three top-10 starts in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series this year, didn't even get to make a lap during Bud Pole Qualifying. Scheduled to run 46th of 47 entrants, Earnhardt began to leave pit road but suddenly stopped.

It was discovered that the No. 3 Chevrolet had broken an oil pump belt, and the car had to be pushed back to the garage area. Earnhardt will have to wait until Bud Second-Round Qualifying on Saturday morning to make a lap.

"We hadn't been running that great, but we tried some things here for qualifying and we were going to give it our best shot," Earnhardt said. "We felt good about it. As I started off pit road, the oil light came on. I looked down and the pressure was gone, so I shut it off. I stopped at the end of pit road.

"It had locked the oil pump up and broke the belt. We had checked right before qualifying and everything looked good in the engine. It's a freak deal. Something has malfunctioned in the pump I think."

Earnhardt's best starting position in recent weeks was ninth in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono last month.

Ernie Irvan's Bud Pole was the seventh No. 1 starting spot for Pontiac in 21 races this season. Chevrolet has eight Bud Poles (Jeff Gordon has six of those), while Ford has six.

With Bobby Labonte qualifying second, it's the second time this season there's been an all-Pontiac front row. John Andretti won the pole and Todd Bodine was second for the PRIMESTAR 500 at Atlanta in March.

Kevin Lepage's Bud Pole Qualifying debut in the No. 16 PRIMESTAR Ford didn't quite go as well as he had hoped. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie was 46th out of 46 cars to hit the track for qualifying, turning in a lap of 174.410 mph.

Things went a bit better for Lepage's predecessor, Ted Musgrave, but not much. Musgrave, driving the No. 15 Rescue Engine Formula Ford of Bud Moore, which was making its 1998 debut this weekend, struggled to a 33rd-place showing, with a lap of 180.036 mph.

Musgrave is still under contract with Roush Racing, but was "loaned" to the Bud Moore organization to help try to qualify their car for the first time this season.

"We were just trying to get the Rescue car locked in the first day," Musgrave said. "If not, get a good enough time to stand on tomorrow (Saturday) and get this thing in the race. Right now getting this thing qualified is a little different than the race setup and I'm not familiarized with it, but things are going good. I'm just getting familiar with everything."

DeVilbiss, presenting sponsor of this weekend's Pepsi 400, will sponsor Morgan Shepherd's No. 91 Chevrolet for the race.

"We're very happy to have DeVilbiss on board with the race team this weekend," said Joe Falk, owner of the No. 91 LJ Racing Team. "We are equally as happy to showcase the paint jobs their quality products produce, and we look forward to their further involvement with DeVilbiss in the future."

DeVilbiss is a major supplier of spray guns, accessories and related equipment to race teams and shops at all levels of racing.

Prior to Friday afternoon, there had been 13 different Bud Pole winners in the last 13 races held at Michigan Speedway, including Ward Burton, who won the Bud Pole for the Miller Lite 400 held in June. Irvan made it 14 in 14 races with a fast lap of 183.416 mph.

The driver to win Bud Poles at back-to-back races at Michigan Speedway was Bill Elliott in 1988. Elliott also pulled off the feat in 1984.

Eddie Lanier and Danny Lawrence of Richard Childress Racing won the inaugural Clevite Engine Builders Challenge when they assembled a 5.7-liter Ford SHO V8 engine from a collection of available parts in 27 minutes and 20 seconds, defeating the team of Charlie Siegars and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports.

Clevite used the competition to announce that the company's Clevite 77 Engine Bearings -- used by 39 of the top-40 teams in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings -- have become officially licensed by NASCAR for the automotive aftermarket.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Bobby Labonte , Kevin Lepage , Ted Musgrave , Morgan Shepherd
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports