David Reininger - motorsport.com Brooklyn, Mich. (July 21, 2000) - Jamie McMurray stepped into the Farris Concrete Dodge, replacing Randy Renfrow, and promptly placed the No. 41 Craftsman Truck on the pole for Saturday's Michigan 200. After...
David Reininger - motorsport.com
Brooklyn, Mich. (July 21, 2000) - Jamie McMurray stepped into the Farris Concrete Dodge, replacing Randy Renfrow, and promptly placed the No. 41 Craftsman Truck on the pole for Saturday's Michigan 200. After sitting out for two races, the team replaced Renfrow, currently 20th in points, with the 24 year old McMurray. "The team just needed a change," said McMurray. "We tested at Texas World Speedway in College Station and everything worked out."
"The whole weekend we've been here we never made a qualifying run," said McMurray, sixth fastest in this morning's practice session. "We never taped off the front, although we had put on stickers a couple of times. The truck had been a little bit tight so we knew when we put some tape on it that it was going to help it out."
"That was pretty much a flat out lap. I hadn't really tried that all weekend just because we never really had been in trim to go qualify. I just went out and put it down and never let up."
McMurray's pole speed, at 177.414 mph, is a new track record for the Craftsman Truck Series at Michigan Speedway.
Series points leader and defending Michigan 200 champion, Greg Biffle will start on the outside of the front row in the Grainger Ford prepared by Roush Racing. "The track got really good. I thought it was going to be a lot slower from this morning. The cloud cover moved in and the track temperature was only eight degrees warmer than when we ran this morning," said Biffle after qualifying .029 seconds slower than his morning practice time.
Most drivers set their fastest lap of the day in practice when they're able to draft behind other trucks.
"In my qualifying run I never lifted and never dragged the brake pedal at all. I kept it flat everywhere. That's just as fast as it'll go."
Biffle is looking for his fifth win this season. He leads the championship standings by 178 points over Mike Wallace.
Wallace qualified third in the Team ASE Ford, stopping the clocks .067 seconds off Biffle's time. "Those guys are braver than I am," said Wallace when asked if his lap was flat out. "Mine was just a good run. I didn't never get out of the gas, I just rolled up to about 80 percent throttle, just to make sure the front stuck. I was tight. When you try to run wide open and you're tight, you actually slow up."
"The motor guys at Penske did a great job. We have to get the truck freed up a little bit for race conditions and we should be fine."
"Last year, the race here was phenomenal," Wallace said. "Michigan is very conducive to three, four wide racing. If we have a race track tomorrow, like we have today, with the temperature and everything, it's going to be really good."
Biffle agreed. "It's like Mike said. It's great racing here, two, three wide. You can go through the corners side by side. There's almost a lower groove and an upper groove. The trucks create so much drag that no one can really get away. And they suck up so fast down the straight away, a guy can really get a run on somebody, move down the bottom and try and pass."
"If conditions stay like this, it'll be unbelievable."
The Michigan 200, the 17th round in the Craftsman Truck Series, takes the green flag at 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.