Frontier @ The Glen Friday notebook By Dave Rodman WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 13, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday following Bud Pole Qualifying for Sunday's Frontier @ The Glen at Watkins Glen International: Bobby Labonte, currently second in the...
Frontier @ The Glen Friday notebook By Dave Rodman
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 13, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday following Bud Pole Qualifying for Sunday's Frontier @ The Glen at Watkins Glen International:
Bobby Labonte, currently second in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, will have a long road to travel in 90 laps on Sunday in the Frontier @ The Glen. The Interstate Batteries tean showed its mettle after a cut tire sent Labonte into the styrofoam at the exit of the Inner Loop and into a backup car for Bud Pole Qualifying. Labonte still qualified 22nd. "Our day was going good until it started raining," Labonte said. "We cut a tire down in practice and tore up our race car, so we only got one lap and a half in this car and got it ready to go."
Derrike Cope's No. 30 Jimmy Dean team will have a struggle on its hands on Saturday. The 30 car stands 44th after Bud Pole Qualifying. Cope had very little practice before time trials. "Our motor broke on the first lap (in practice)," Cope said while singing the praises of new crew chief Barry Dodson. "Our guys worked real hard to get a motor in to make this lap. That wasn't a bad first lap, so maybe we can work on it tomorrow and maybe get a victory."
Jeremy Mayfield had the only incident in Bud Pole Award Qualifying when he spun his Mobil 1 Ford exiting Turn 7 onto the front straightaway. His lap of 105.769 mph was the slowest in the 49-car field.
Ted Christopher may yet achieve his goal of becoming the first NASCAR driver to start all three events in the Frontier at The Glen weekend. Christopher is 33rd in his LesCare Kitchens Chevrolet after Bud Pole Qualifying. He'll start 10th in the Whelen Engineering Chevrolet in the Pepsi 150 for the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, on Saturday afternoon; then will line up 17th in The Glen 150 for the Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring.
While Boris Said was awfully strong -- second-best in his Federated Auto Parts Ford -- and fellow road race veteran Ron Fellows locked up the seventh spot in the Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet, most of the other "specialists" had rough days on Friday. David Murry has the best shot at getting in for what would be his series debut, having qualified 31st in the Midway Island Ford. Former SCCA Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi is mired in 45th in his HomeLink Pontiac, while Jack Baldwin is 46th in the MCI WorldCom Chevrolet. "We threw a lot of things at it today and tried to make it fast," Baldwin said, summing up many teams' woes. "We didn't get to run many practice laps. I'm not sure we had enough time to make it as good as we needed it to be."
Strangely, while Friday's was Wallace's 24th career NASCAR Winston Cup Series Bud Pole, it was only the second of his career on a road course. His other came at Sears Point in 1989, 313 races ago. Wallace is an avowed road course fanatic. While it was his first Bud Pole at The Glen, it was his 11th start of eighth or better in 14 races at Watkins Glen.
Jeff Gordon qualified third, his 15th top-10 start in 1999. It is his fifth top-5 start in seven races at Watkins Glen. Gordon remains the only driver to qualify in the first round for every race this season.
The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is worth $10,000 to the winner of the Frontier at The Glen should he also be the point leader after the race. Dale Jarrett cannot lose his spot atop the points this week, so he is the only driver eligible for the bonus.
Amazing rookie Tony Stewart, who will start fourth, scored his 11th top-10 start of 1999. Stewart qualified second at Sears Point, giving him an average start of 3.0 in the season's two road races.
By qualifying sixth, Jerry Nadeau posted his fourth top-10 start of the season. Nadeau has qualified fourth or better in three of the last four road races.
Four of the last six NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at WGI have been won from the Bud Pole. Mark Martin did it three times (1993-1995) and Gordon did it last year. The 1996 and 1997 editions were won from starting positions outside the top-10. The furthest back a winner has started in the 16-race history at Watkins Glen is 13th, which has occurred twice: Wallace (1989) and Geoffrey Bodine (1996).
Source: NASCAR Online