Talladega qualifying notes

LABONTE WINS BUSCH POLE FOR WINSTON SELECT 500, RUDD FINED HEAVILY TALLADEGA, Ala. -- A multi-faceted day at Talladega Superspeedway Friday saw Terry Labonte win his first Busch Pole Award since 1991 in qualifying for Sunday's Winston Select...


TALLADEGA, Ala. -- A multi-faceted day at Talladega Superspeedway Friday saw Terry Labonte win his first Busch Pole Award since 1991 in qualifying for Sunday's Winston Select 500; Ricky Rudd's team fined $50,000 by NASCAR; a 43-car field set for Saturday's Food World 500k ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series race; and a three-car accident that wiped out IROC's fleet of practice cars.

Labonte had not won a Busch Pole since the 1991 Bud at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, when he drove for car owner Billy Hagan. Labonte was the second of 46 cars that took to the Superspeedway in qualifying and he turned a lap averaging 196.532 mph in the Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet owned by Rick Hendrick.

It was the fifth Busch Pole this season for Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon, who made a late run but only ran the sixth-fastest speed, has four poles this season.

Owner/driver Rudd and crew chief Bill Ingle were fined for an infraction that was discovered in pre-practice inspection (see note).

Busch Beer Second-Round Qualifying for the Winston Select 500 will be held at 10:30 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Although reserved seat tickets for the Winston Select 500 are sold, unreserved backstretch grandstand seats remain for Sunday's race. They will go on sale at 7 a.m. on Sunday. Two-day infield tickets will go on sale at 5 a.m. on Saturday. One-day infield tickets become available following the conclusion of Saturday's on- track activities. For ticket information call the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 205-362-9064.


NASCAR officials Friday afternoon fined car owner/driver Ricky Rudd and crew chief Bill Ingle a total of $50,000 after a hydraulic apparatus that would adjust the height of the rear of the car was discovered in the No. 10 Thunderbird.

The piece, discovered during pre-practice inspection Friday morning, was operated by the clutch pedal. The car could go through inspection at the proper height while a set screw/groove combination allowed the rear of the car to drop from the pressure of the G-forces when the car was at speed in the turns.

A T-split from the clutch line allowed the clutch to operate properly while sending an additional flow of fluid through a line in the framework of the car and into the cross-member of the frame above the car's rear springs.

The fine was broken down three ways. Rudd was fined $25,000 as a car owner and $20,000 as a driver. Ingle was fined $5,000 and placed on probation to the end of the season.

The fine was a direct violation of Section 12, Rule 4, Articles A & Q which state: A)Any Member who performs an act or participates in actions deemed by NASCAR Officials as detrimental to automobile racing or to NASCAR: fine of at least $100.00, and the member may also be suspended and/or loss of championship points; Q) Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules or which have not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event or which are not required for the normal functional operation of the race car or safety items which have been altered to detract from or compromise their integrity or effectiveness: disallowance of qualifying times, withdrawal of the opportunity to qualify for the Event, and/or fine, and/or loss of finishing positions in the Event and/or suspension from NASCAR.

BOBBY ALLISON (team owner #12 Straight Arrow Ford) -- (Jimmy Hallett, the uncle of Bobby Allison and his brother, Donnie Allison (crew chief for ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series driver Kevin Ray), passed away on Thursday. Funeral services will be on Tuesday, May 2. Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. It is located at 5600 Lindora Canyon Rd.; West Lake Valley, CA 91362. Phone is 805-495-0837.

GARY BECHTEL (team owner #29 Meineke Chevrolet) -- (Diamond Ridge Motorsports owner Bechtel will join forces with "Feed the Children," a worldwide disaster relief agency, at Talladega Superspeedway. In an effort to support the victims of the federal building bombing in Oklahoma City, Okla., Bechtel will seek a cooperative effort among the NASCAR Winston Cup owners this weekend. Bechtel has pledged a $1,000 donation to the Feed the Children Disaster Relief Fund and has asked driver Steve Grissom and sponsor Meineke Discount Muffler Shops to match his pledge. In a letter sent today to fellow Winston Cup owners, Bechtel has asked each of them to do the same. As a symbol of support, the Diamond Ridge team members will wear Feed the Children t-shirts in the garage area through Saturday and will display the Oklahoma state flag on their transporter.)

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Steve Grissom , Bobby Allison , Donnie Allison , Billy Hagan