INDIANAPOLIS, The 2000 season's second largest group of drivers, 12, failed to qualify for Thursday's Powerstroke 200 including NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regulars Ryan McGlynn, 21st in the standings, and 24th-place Wayne Edwards. ...
INDIANAPOLIS, The 2000 season's second largest group of drivers, 12, failed to qualify for Thursday's Powerstroke 200 including NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regulars Ryan McGlynn, 21st in the standings, and 24th-place Wayne Edwards. Jason Leffler, a one-time open wheel star at Indianapolis Raceway Park, qualified seventh in debut while another USAC racer, Tony Ave, unsuccessfully attempted to make the field in Brevak Racing's Black Box Network Services Ford. Bryan Reffner, whose IRP luck hasn't been the best, failed to clear the inspection line before the five-minute clock expired. Forced to take a provisional start of 30th, Reffner sliced through the pack, was saved by caution on lap 88 with leader Joe Ruttman closing on the Johns Manville Chevrolet and ultimately finished eighth. At the other end of the spectrum, Roush Racing partners Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch qualified two-three with identical times: 22.344 seconds. That left both drivers, and their respective crew chiefs Randy Goss and Matt Chambers, scratching their heads. ,Absolutely different set ups" remarked Biffle. Biffle became the first competitor in 2000 to lead 1,000 miles when he paced the first 20 laps around the 0.686-mile speedway. Mike Skinner was first to achieve the feat, in 1996, and his 1,136.902 mile total (in a 25-race season) remains the NCTS record. Biffle is No. 3 on the all-time list with 1,117.922 miles, behind Skinner and Jack Sprague's 1997 total of 1,074.627. Ron Hornaday is the only other driver to lead 1,000 miles in a single season as he paced 1,000.214 last year.
Of note, the miles led leader has won the championship in three of the tour's first five seasons.
Busch's 12th top-10 finish matched the rookie-of-the-year record set in 1998 by Biffle.
Dodge matched a pair of career bests with Ruttman's third short track victory and the veteran's seventh Bud Pole of the campaign. The manufacturer has won four times in 2000, the same number as a year ago. Dodge's nine Bud Poles, four in succession, mirror the 1999 season. By the way, Dodge completed the three-manufacturer victory log at IRP, making it the 10th active venue where each has won at least once.
Reffner and Dennis Setzer each is five-for-five in top-10 finishes in 2000 short track competition. Ruttman and owner/driving partner Bobby Hamilton have led 404 of 907 laps completed on the ,bullrings, to date. Just two short track stops remain on the schedule: next Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 250 at Nashville Speedway USA and the Sept. 7 stop at Richmond International Raceway.
A pre-race media/driver pit stop contest was held in downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday. The winning team, comprised of ESPN crew members from Lingner Group Productions, were declared the winners when two faster outfits, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Winston Cup/Busch Series drivers, were disqualified for whining. The Lingner bunch then out-hustled a local TV station's representatives in a best two-of-three match.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors were informed by NASCAR that steering wheel mounted ignition kill buttons and throttle shafts travel stops, required of NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams at the Brickyard 400, will be mandatory beginning with Saturday's event in Nashville. The rule governs all track sizes and configurations.