Pocono Saturday qualifying report

Trickle is fastest on Saturday LONG POND, Pa. (July 25, 1998) Dick Trickle led second-round qualifying Saturday for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway to claim the 26th starting position in the 43-car field. Trickle posted a lap of...

Trickle is fastest on Saturday

LONG POND, Pa. (July 25, 1998) Dick Trickle led second-round qualifying Saturday for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway to claim the 26th starting position in the 43-car field.

Trickle posted a lap of 166.546 mph on the 2.5-mile track, which Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. engineers said had a temperature of 114 degrees when qualifying began. If Trickle had posted that lap in first-round qualfifying, he would have made the top 25 by claiming the 21st starting position.

Other drivers who elected to requalify and made the field on speed were Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 166.168 mph, 31st; Hut Stricklin, Chevrolet, 166.134, 32nd; and Johnny Benson, 165.712, 36th.

Wally Dallenbach, Rich Bickle and Bobby Hamilton were the only three drivers who stood on their first-round time who had to use provisional starting positions to get into the field.

Only three drivers -- Gary Bradberry, Randy MacDonald and Jimmy Horton -- failed to make the field.

Of the 36 cars that qualified on speed, there was less than a second difference -- 0.995 second -- in their laps.

Ward Burton starts Sunday's race on the pole with two-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon beside him. Burton claimed the pole Friday in a Pontiac with a lap of 168.805 mph, while Gordon's Chevrolet was clocked at 168.249 mph.

Burton was confident entering the second race this season at Pocono, saying, ``I'm pretty daggone sure we're gonna lead the first two laps."

The Virginia native noted the good thing about starting on the pole was that it increased one's chances of being able to avoid trouble.

"You know, this track has been pretty good with most people giving and taking," Burton said. "We always have a few crashes. This particular track we run the bottom groove and when somebody goes spinning they always go on the outside to the wall.

"Most of the time they are getting out of the way pretty quick. Hopefully, I won't be one of the ones spinning, but it is sometimes easier to avoid, particularly when you're close to it. But of course, when you're trying to go through the wreck after it's already finished like anywhere else, you're going by instinct and usually some of your spotters help."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Ward Burton , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dick Trickle , Sterling Marlin , Hut Stricklin , Johnny Benson , Gary Bradberry