DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 11, 2003) -- The Dodges had their fun on Tuesday sweeping the top three spots in Bud Pole Qualifying for Friday's fourth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Jason Leffler, the first...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 11, 2003) -- The Dodges had their fun on Tuesday sweeping the top three spots in Bud Pole Qualifying for Friday's fourth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Jason Leffler, the first driver on the track, took the Bud Pole Award in the No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Racing Dodge with a lap of 182.994 mph. After his fast lap, Leffler had to wait through two hours of qualifying before finally celebrating.
"I've got to thank (owner) Jim Smith for giving us the tools to do our job," Leffler said. "Everybody really worked hard and put a lot of effort into it over the wintertime. We came down here and had a good test and then went back and tuned the truck up.
"Dodge is No. 1 and that's where we'd like to keep it."
Leffler won eight Bud Poles last year but is still searching for his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. He is hoping for that breakthrough victory in Friday's Florida Dodge Dealers 250.
"With all the history here and all the great guys that have set on the pole, if we can win the race, that would be awesome," Leffler said. "Anytime you go to Victory Lane at Daytona whether it's a go-kart race or a truck race, it's exciting. We're looking forward to it. I know the guys are pumped up."
Robert Pressley, the defending Florida Dodge Dealers 250 champion, qualified on the outside front row with a speed of 181.973. Last year, Pressley won at Daytona behind the wheel of a Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge. This year, he's driving the No. 59 Dodge owned by Jim Harris.
Finishing off the Dodge sweep was Leffler's teammate and last year's Florida Dodge Dealers 250 pole winner Ted Musgrave in the No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge with a speed of 181.914.
Musgrave gave Leffler the nickname "Don't Lift Leffler" during the post-qualifying news conference.
Rounding out the top five were Ed Berrier in a Chevrolet owned by Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford of Terry Cook. The top Raybestos Rookie of the Year qualifier was Randy Briggs with a 17th-place qualify effort in the No. 53 Ford.
The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 goes green on Friday at 1 p.m. Before the start of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener, the True Value IROC XXVII will begin with Round 1 at 11 a.m.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2003 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.