R. Wallace above 181 mph at Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 17, 2000 -- Veteran Rusty Wallace, winner of seven NASCAR Winston Cup poles this season, turned the fastest unofficial stock car lap ever recorded at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 181.217 mph, during Ford ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 17, 2000 -- Veteran Rusty Wallace, winner of seven NASCAR Winston Cup poles this season, turned the fastest unofficial stock car lap ever recorded at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 181.217 mph, during Ford testing Monday for the Brickyard 400. Wallace's time of 49.664 seconds in the Miller Lite Ford was three-thousandths of a second quicker than the time of Joe Nemechek during GM testing July 12. Nemechek's top lap speed was 181.206 mph. The track record is 179.612 mph set by Jeff Gordon last August during Brickyard 400 qualifying. A track record has been set in qualifying at each of the six previous races. Pole qualifying for this year's race is scheduled for Aug. 3; the race is Aug. 5. "That's everything we had today," said Wallace, who put his high mark on the speed chart with his Roger Penske-owned car about 30 minutes before the track closed at 6 p.m. "Our mission when we got to the end of the day, if everything worked out fine, was to do all qualifying stuff today, all our shock absorber work, our tire pressure selections and things like that. And we put our qualifying motor in, so there's not a whole lot we have left coming back. "We might try one left front shock, maybe. I don't want to touch it. This is our qualifying engine, and this is our car, so I guess we'll take it home, wax it up and bring it back." Wallace said the team will put a race setup on the car and run all of Tuesday's second and final day of testing "just racing." "We just turned a really 'bad' lap, we're done with it now, and we're going to take those records and file them away for qualifying and just concentrate tomorrow solely on race setups," he said. Wallace became the third driver to break the 50-second mark at Indy. Nemechek and Dale Earnhardt both cracked that barrier last week. Earnhardt, seeking a record-breaking eighth Winston Cup championship, was clocked at 49.929 for a speed average of 180.253 on July 12. The second-fastest driver Monday among the Ford contingent was 1997 Brickyard 400 winner Ricky Rudd with a 179.351-mph lap in his Texaco Havoline Ford. Jeff Burton was third at 179.204, followed by defending Brickyard 400 champion Dale Jarrett at 179.204 and Elliott Sadler at 179.184. "It's always nice to come back here," said Jarrett, who, like Gordon, is a two-time winner of the event. "It seems to be very special just as the very first time we were given the opportunity to come here and race (1994). A lot of things have changed. The look of the place has changed, but the racetrack hasn't changed." There was one incident, as Stacy Compton hit the wall in Turn 3 after an apparent tire problem. Compton complained of a sore shoulder. <pre> TOP 25 DRIVERS FROM FORD TESTING (July 17, 2000) (Only driver's' fastest speed of day listed) Pos. Name (Car number) Time Speed 1. Rusty Wallace 49.664 181.217 2. Ricky Rudd* 50.180 179.351 3. Jeff Burton 50.214 179.231 4. Dale Jarrett 50.222 179.204 5. Elliott Sadler 50.227 179.184 6. Mark Martin 50.379 178.645 7. Jimmy Spencer 50.489 178.256 8. Brett Bodine 50.508 178.187 9. Bill Elliott* 50.565 177.986 10. Kevin Lepage* 50.599 177.867 11. Ricky Rudd 50.628 177.764 12. Kevin Lepage 50.703 177.503 13. Darrell Waltrip 50.721 177.441 14. Robert Pressley* 50.736 177.388 15. Wally Dallenbach* 50.825 177.078 16. Chad Little* 50.826 177.072 17. Bill Elliott 51.187 175.826 18. Ed Berrier 51.352 175.258 19. Jeremy Mayfield 51.436 174.973 20. Stacy Compton 51.445 174.944 21. Robert Pressley 51.636 174.294 22. Mark Martin* 51.704 174.067 23. Jimmy Spencer 51.778 173.818 24. Jeremy Mayfield* 51.788 173.784 25. Darrell Waltrip* 52.138 172.617 * -- Backup car

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kevin Lepage , Robert Pressley , Stacy Compton , Chad Little , Ed Berrier , Elliott Sadler , Roger Penske , Mark Martin