Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Notebook Shawn A. Akers - NASCAR Online DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 20, 1998) Some notes and quotes from Darlington Raceway and the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Diamond Hill Plywood 200: To say...
Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Notebook Shawn A. Akers - NASCAR Online
DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 20, 1998) Some notes and quotes from Darlington Raceway and the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Diamond Hill Plywood 200:
To say the least, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., had an exasperating day Friday. After Ron Hornaday crashed the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet during NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice just after noon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. went out early in Bud Pole Qualifying for the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 and spun out., failing to complete a lap. "I just drove the car too hard," Earnhardt Jr. said. "You know you try to push it in qualifying so you don't have to start in the rear, but it looks like that's where we're going to be starting this weekend."
Earnhardt Jr. was forced to take a provisional and will start 37th in today's 147-lap event at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.
Bobby Labonte returned to the seat of a NASCAR Busch Series car for the first time this season, and was able to qualify in the top-10. Labonte clocked a fast lap of 163.615 mph, good enough for the ninth spot in his No. 44 Shell Oil Pontiac.
"I screwed up, I didn't have my earplugs in so the crew couldn't tell me how good the first lap was," Labonte said. "When I came back around I looked at the scoreboard to see where I was, but it didn't matter much because I already had messed up Turns 1 and 2 on the second lap. But it was the best lap we ran all day, so we'll take it."
Once again, David Green will substitute for Derrike Cope in the No. 92 Kraft Chevrolet. Cope, who was injured in a hard-hitting accident at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago, elected again not to run his NASCAR Busch Series car, as he did last week for the BellSouth Mobility/Opryland 320 at Nashville Speedway USA.
Green failed to qualify for the race at Nashville, but fared much better this week. He qualified 11th with a fast lap of 163.500 mph and will start on the outside of Row 6 in Saturday's race.
Glenn Allen is pumped up for this weekend's race, especially after finishing 11th in last fall's NASCAR Busch Series race at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.
"We are ready for action this weekend in Darlington," said the driver of the No. 99 Luxaire Chevrolet. "We had a fantastic race car in the race there last fall and just missed recording a top-10 finish. We are going to get inside the top-ten this weekend. With the race team John Monsam has assembled this year, I know I am going to have a great car. It is going to be a good weekend for the Luxaire Chevrolet."
Allen qualified 16th on Friday and will start on the outside of Row 8 in Saturday's race after a fast lap of 163.023 mph.
For the first time, local favorite Ron Barfield has failed to qualify for a NASCAR Busch Series event at Darlington. Barfield, from nearby Florence, S.C., managed only a qualifying lap of 160.659 mph, good enough for 44th fastest out of 49 cars.
Another of South Carolina's favorite sons, Lyndon Amick, is safely into the field for Saturday's race. Amick, from Batesburg, S.C., and driver of the No. 35 SCANA/Myrtle Beach/South Carolina Pontiac, will start 18th Saturday after a qualifying lap of 162.357 mph.
"I got a little loose in (Turns) 1 and 2," said Amick, who has failed to make two of the first four races this season. "I really think I would have been better, but getting loose in Turns 1 and 2 really hurt my chances for the pole. I'll take that lap, though. This is my favorite race track and I'd love to have a good solid run for my team and my sponsors."
Source: NASCAR Online