BUSCH: Daytona report

CHAD LITTLE WINS FIRST BUSCH SERIES RACE AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- College graduate Chad Little, who had to use a provisional starting position to get into the field, won the Goody's 300 NASCAR Busch Series race for the Grand ...

CHAD LITTLE WINS FIRST BUSCH SERIES RACE AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- College graduate Chad Little, who had to use a provisional starting position to get into the field, won the Goody's 300 NASCAR Busch Series race for the Grand National Divisions on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Attention on Sunday will switch to the 37th Daytona 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Driver Dale Earnhardt will try to win his first Daytona 500, but his 27th career Daytona victory, from the second starting position in the 42-car field. Dale Jarrett, the '93 Daytona 500 winner, will start from the Busch Pole for the first time in his Winston Cup career. The race is set to begin at 12:15 p.m. It will be broadcast live on CBS-TV. Little, who was making his 42nd Busch Series start in the Bayer Aspirin Ford owned by former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien and Greg Pollux, won the race when he drove underneath leader Steve Grissom coming out of Turn Four on lap 118. Grissom had been battling a loose Diamond Ridge Racing Chevrolet for a number of laps and, as Little passed him, it wobbled again. Grissom was forced to lift to maintain control and Mark Martin, whose Winn-Dixie Ford was right behind Grissom, couldn't avoid drilling him squarely in the rear, setting off a massive chain reaction that caused the race to finish under caution. "It was just real hard racing with old tires and not a lot of fuel in the cars," said Little, who said he watched the melee in his rear-view mirror as he fled to the caution flag that secured the first Goody's 300 win by a Busch Series regular since Jack Ingram did it in 1980. "All the cars were loose and nobody was goig to give an inch with just a couple of laps to go." Little won a Goody's 300 record purse of $71,411 -- evidence of the necessity for the frantic action seen in the last 25 laps. "Grissom was just entirely too loose and it was so close to the end he thought he could try to make it, but he wasn't going to make it," said a disappointed Mark Martin, who led three times for 35 laps. "His car kept getting sideways and the people behind him kept lifting to save him, and finally he just couldn't save himself. He got sideways on the backstraight and then got sideways again in the corner (Four), and I plugged him. Then I got plugged from behind, it was a chain reaction." "I just got loose and around it came," said Grissom, who was upbeat despite his disappointment. "I was trying to keep it under me, but the cars were right on each other, and everything started stacking up. I had a little help, but when you're running up front like that and something happens, that's about all you can expect." Little averaged 150.733 mph for one hour, 59 minutes and 25 seconds. There were 19 lead changes among 12 drivers in the race, which was slowed five times by cautions for a total of 17 laps. The Busch Series next event will be the Goodwrench 200 on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The results of the 37th Goody's 300 NASCAR Busch Series race for the Grand National Divisions, held Saturday at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway; listing finishing positon, driver, car and laps completed (reason out): 1. Chad Little, Ford, 120; 2. Michael Waltrip, Pontiac, 120; 3. Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 120; 4. Kenny Wallace, Ford, 120; 5. Rich Bickle, Ford, 120; 6. Jim Bown, Chevrolet, 120; 7. Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 120; 8. Mark Martin, Ford, 120; 9. Jeff Purvis, Chevrolet, 120; 10. Johnny Benson, Chevrolet, 119; 11. Jeff Fuller, Chevrolet, 119; 12. Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 119; 13. Hermie Sadler, Chevrolet, 119; 14. David Green, Chevrolet, 118; 15. Bobby Dotter, Chevrolet, 118; 16. Rodney Combs, Pontiac, 118; 17. Rick Wilson, Ford, 118; 18. Jason Keller, Chevrolet, 118; 19. Steve Grissom, Chevrolet, 117 (wreck); 20. Mike Wallace, Ford, 117 (wreck); 21. Tracy Leslie, Chevrolet, 117 (wreck); 22. Derrike Cope, Ford, 117 (wreck); 23. Joe Bessey, Chevrolet, 117, (wreck); 24. Dennis Setzer, Ford, 117 (wreck); 25. Larry Pearson, Chevrolet, 117; 26. Bobby Hillin, Ford, 117; 27. Doug Heveron, Ford, 117; 28. Tim Fedewa, Ford, 117; 29. Robbie Reiser, Chevrolet, 116; 30. Phil Parsons, Chevrolet, 116; 31. Curtis Markham, Pontiac, 105 (engine); 32. L.W. Miller, Ford, 85 (engine); 33. Tim Bender, Ford, 85; 34. Jamie Aube, Chevrolet, 83 (engine); 35. Tommy Houston, Ford, 79 (engine); 36. Bobby Hamilton, Pontiac, 75 (vibration); 37. Mike McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 75; 38. Dale Jarrett, Ford, 65 (overheating); 39. Elton Sawyer, Ford, 62 (engine); 40. Ken Schrader, Chevrolet, 25 (engine); 41. Kirk Shelmerdine, Chevrolet, 19 (wreck); 42. Patty Moise, Ford, 8 (wreck); 43. Stevie Reeves, Chevrolet, 8 (wreck); 44. Steve Hoddick, Ford, 8 (wreck); 45. Glenn Sullivan, Chevrolet, 1 (engine). MISCELLANEOUS NOTES NASCAR Winston Cup Series car owner Cale Yarborough's mother- in-law unexpectedly passed away Friday evening. Azalee Turbeville, mother of Cale's wife, Betty Jo, lived near the Yarboroughs in the Florence, S.C. area. Four-time Daytona 500 winner Yarborough and family will miss Sunday's Daytona 500 to attend the funeral. Mrs. Turbeville lived in the Florence, S.C., area near the Yarborough family.


NOTE: The total posted awards for today's 37th Goody's 300 is $677,114. NOTE: The only entries in today's Goody's 300 running V-6 engines are the #11 Dura-Shine Chevrolet driven by Jamie Aube and the #84 Sullivan Racing Chevrolet driven by the Glenn Sullivan. The rest of the 45-car field will be powered by 358 cid V-8 engines limited to a maximum 9.5-to-1 compression ratio. The engines will run with a mandated 1" restrictor plate. STEVE HODDICK (#94 Thadco III Motorsports Ford) -- I really don't know what happened. I came around the corner, and cars were everywhere -- spinning, sliding. I got on the brakes and that got me sideways. Then I hit a car on the back of the track that was going backwards. KEN SCHRADER (#52 AC-Delco Chevrolet) -- Something in the engine let go -- I don't know what it was. We were a lot looser that I thought we'd be, but it was going in the right direction. ELTON SAWYER (#38 Ford Credit Ford) -- I think it burned a piston. We'll be back at Rockingham. (On his wife's accident.) We were running at different ends of the race track. I didn't see anything. TIM BENDER (#39* BOR Oil/Foxco Ford) -- (On accident between One & Two.) Patty Moise was spinning in front of me. I got on the brakes and pretty much had her cleared, and a guy ran into the back of me and turned me around, and I ran into somebody else. The car was working perfect. I was just trying to take my time and stay in line and hopefully get to the front later, but unfortunately we didn't have that chance. We're going to run Atlanta in three weeks. (After making repairs in the garage, Bender rejoined the race.) PATTY MOISE (#40 Dial/Purex/Armour Ford) -- I just wanted to run all day, but it was definitely a short one. Early in the race like that you've got a full fuel load and the car is as loose as it's going to be. I was just trying to follow Schrader and Labonte when they got by. I figured they knew what they were doing. Maybe Jeff (Fuller) wanted to do that too, in the 47 car. We were kind of bunched up at that point, and he faded up the track a little bit and just barely caught me. It was hardly anything, but it was enough. The back end started to come around, I tried to correct it and I thought I had it for a minute, but my abilities are not such that I can correct that at 180-something mile-an-hour. KIRK SHELMERDINE (#25 Big Johnson Chevrolet) -- We had a real good car. I was just riding along. She (Patty Moise) spun out -- I don't know what started it, if somebody hit her or what. I couldn't tell which way she was going. I chose high. When the smoke cleared, I could see her coming, but it was too late. Her wheels were turning -- she wasn't holding the brakes. She went right up the track. After that, our car wouldn't run fast enough for NASCAR to let us keep running. DALE JARRETT (#32 MAC Tools Ford) -- We just got to running a little too hot, and had to back out of it. It started pushing water out. It got the engine hot when we taped off too much. It was a mistake on our part. I was OK when I was out front, but we needed all the air we could get to keep the engine cool and when they got past me it heated right up. We missed the setup a little bit, had a bad push but we could have made an adjustment for that. We made a 4-tire stop and got ourselves in trouble. We weren't sure who the race leader was, and got a lap down -- I could have beat the leader back to the line but we didn't know who it was when we needed to. JAMIE AUBE (#11 Dura-Shine Chevrolet) -- We lost the motor. This was my first race at Daytona, and oh, what a blast! I loved it (Aube is a three-time NASCAR Busch North Series champion). I had a pretty good car, but with a V-6 engine, it was hard running with the V-8s. Once I learned how to draft, I had a lot of fun today. L.W. MILLER (#18 Unifirst Uniforms Ford) -- We had a problem with the oil leaking. The car didn't work very well from the start. I just did a lot of riding around. We never got it working right. At least we got in a few laps. DALE EARNHARDT (Team owner #3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- We would've liked to have done better, but I think he (Jeff Green) done a good job. We probably shouldn't have pitted, but all them cars were all on top of each other, there (in Turn Four accident). We might've been in the middle of it if we hadn't of pitted. JIM BOWN (#51 Luck's Foods Chevrolet) -- A couple of problems that got us behind. We overshot our pit the first time, and that put us to the back. The last caution, they said I was speeding on pit road. I don't think I did but I won't complain now. That saved us from being in the accident. My spotter told me to go low, low, lower and lowest. I just kept turning left. We were good early but the car took to pushing. We kept adjusting but we couldn't get the push out. It wasn't bad for the first time out with a new team. It matched our best superspeedway finish, last fall at Charlotte. JEFF PURVIS (#4 Kodak Chevrolet) -- We ran well at first, but then the car got too tight. I was clear of the crash, then somebody hit (Richie Bickle claimed credit) me in the back. DENNIS SETZER (#59 Alliance Training Centers Ford) -- We had the lead, then we came up on the No. 20 car (Bobby Hillin). He went up, down, up and then back down. Then he carried me to the wall. Then the window net came down after our pit stop. That's when I fell back, trying to hold it up. I got to the (turn four) crash and all I could see was smoke. It was just one of those things. We had a good shot at winning, so we're a little disappointed. But, the whole team's pleased at the way we ran. We've got the same engine builder as Chad Little, so we're tickled for him. LARRY PEARSON (#92 Stanley Tools Chevrolet) -- The car was running a little loose all day. I spun out coming off two and bent the front air dam and air was coming up under it and making the car plow. It wouldn't turn at all. I don't know what happened coming out of four. All I saw was a bunch of smoke. I had already slowed way down and was in second gear. I couldn't have been running more than 50 miles an hour. I hit somebody in the rear who was sitting in the race track. The radio came undone at the last pit stop and I didn't realize it. They were screaming that there was a caution and I couldn't hear them. JOE BESSEY (#97 Davison Motorsports Chevrolet) -- (On last accident.) I just couldn't see a thing. We went through the smoke, and then I hit somebody head-on. That was it. (Before that.) I was right behind the 3 car (Jeff Green). We were working good together, his MOnte Carlo and my Lumina. I got four tires late and the car was good. I felt the two of us could've moved up at the end for a top five. (On Mike McLaughlin's spin early in race.) I was trying to slip up behind him. The car just got sucked-in. I only got him by about five inches. He's a good friend of mine, and I felt like hell about it. RICHIE BICKLE (#54 Kleenex Ford) -- I'll tell you what, the Kleenex crew did an excellent job. I gotta thank Mark Poole. There's only two guys that work on the car, and he's done all the mechanical work. He's been working 14 hours a day, seven days a week, to get this car ready. The driver had a lot of brain fade today. I came in the pits the first time and the front brakes locked up. We didn't check the bias front-to-rear. We couldn't fix that because you have to get under the dash to do it. We just ran out of time in the shop...this whole Kleenex deal came together in about three weeks. What a start! I goofed up the second time when Mark (Martin) pulled out when I was coming in, and I lost some spots there. The driver had brain fade and we had to come from the back. On the last stop, the pit crew picked us back up and got us back in there. For the Kleenex car and Kids Across America, this is a good start! (The nose of the car was badly dented.) I hit Jeff Purvis, and I never should've hit him. I went in the corner and seen the wreck and I got on the brakes and slid the front tires and just barely bumped him. It was just one them deals. I feel bad for him, but it started up in front of us. DAVID GREEN (#44 Slim Jim Chevrolet) -- We dodged a couple bullets out there today. We had a brand new spotter, Mike Cope, who will drive our car in the Slim Jim All Pro Series (NASCAR touring series for Late Model-type cars, of which Cope is the defending champion), and he felt today like I did in the Busch Clash. It was like being thrown in a snakepit. This was just one of those weeks. We worked hard, but just couldn't run by ourselves. You look at Terry Labonte, his car was slower than ours by himself, but he just drafted and drafted and ended up finishing 3rd. That drafting deal is something I just don't have down yet. I've got like 500 miles here total and Terry does 1,200 miles a year here and has been doing it for 20 years. Unless you have just an awesome car down here, you must use the draft. We accomplished our goal today. We ran all day, stayed out of trouble, and finished. This gets our season rolling. A year ago we finished 38th here, yet went on to win the Busch Grand National championship. So we've got a great start to our season in defending the championship. RICK WILSON (#75 Food Country USA Ford) -- It was a long day for us. We never could get the handle on the car. We've got an aerodynamic problem, and whatever we done to the car didn't change it. It was just so danged loose, especially in traffic. So, I just kinda layed back in the pack, kept it going straight and dodged the wrecks. This is the first time we've run a Ford, so we'll gain on it. Our next race will be Atlanta and we'll be stronger. Our biggest problem was we lost our best car in testing. That hurt us. DOUG HEVERON (#35 Cincinnati Milacron Ford) -- Not as tough a start as last year. (On first accident.) When Patty lost it, everybody scattered and I just didn't have anywhere to go. I just locked it down, and flat-spotted all the tires. I didn't make any contact with anything, but it knocked the front fenders out and made the car loose when it was by itself. When I got behind other people, or had some help, the car was good, but by myself, I was lost. We finished and the car's in one piece so I can't complain. (On last accident.) All I saw was smoke. I was going down the back straightaway and they said 'Lock it down, there's a heckuva mess over here.' I got it slowed down and I was just driving through the smoke looking for objects. I got through it... I went down next to the inside wall, and when I could see I cut back across the grass to the track. JOHNNY BENSON (#74 Lipton Tea Chevrolet) -- A lot better than last year. I should've been in that wreck coming off four, but we're happy it's in one piece. We got black flagged early for smoking a little bit. I wish they'd let it go another couple laps, because we came in and there was just a little oil back there. We went back out and it never smoked again. That cost us a lap, and it was tough all day trying to get it back. We almost got it back once... MIKE McLAUGHLIN (#34 French's/Black Flag Chevrolet) -- (On first incident.) All I know is there's a tire mark on my left rear quarter panel (See previous Joe Bessey note.). That turned us loose. All the damage was done when the tire went down and knocked the oil tank out and ruined the body as I was getting back to the pits. (After damage was repaired.) We got a chance to feel it out a little bit. It was actually pretty decent, and we were running times that weren't that bad compared to the leaders, but when you're that many laps down, you don't need to be getting in the way. I just kind of rode around, and played around a little bit. The car was pretty good at the start. We thought we could win, with the right circumstances. (At start.) The car felt good, but I got caught up top and nobody really wanted to run up there with me. That's how we ended up dropping back a little bit, then we got turned around. JEFF FULLER (#47* Sunoco Lubricants Chevrolet) -- (This car was damaged in accident during January testing here.) The snout and the right side they had to replace, but they've got their own chassis jigs and did it in-house. (After his first Daytona experience.) It's worked out super. I couldn't ask for a better bunch of guys. The four wheels and four fenders are on it, we finished 11th and that's pretty good for a rookie team and a rookie driver... To even qualify for the race, never mind finish it, is an accomplishment, so I'm very happy with it. (On accident with Patty Moise.) I'm not so sure what happened. Patty was on the outside, and I'm not sure if it was an air thing, or what. I was there, and I don't know. I hope that we didn't get together. Obviously you don't do things like that intentionally. Like I said, what I need to do is gain respect from drivers, and that (causing an accident) is the worst thing that could happen. I hope that nobody's upset there. I just need to get some seat time, and if that was the deal, believe me, it was definitely not intentional. I don't think it was. The biggest thing we came away with is we got to finish all the laps. I had asked the guys yesterday to get me a tight race car. They did and maybe it was a little too tight. I can't wait to get to Rockingham, now. This is great! I've moved to Huntersville, N.C., a couple weeks ago. (Fuller is a former Featherlite Modified Tour champion.) There's a possibility I might do two (Modified) shows, but I really don't know.

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rich Bickle , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Ken Schrader , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Elton Sawyer , Mike Wallace , Johnny Benson , Mike McLaughlin , Dennis Setzer , Bobby Dotter , Chad Little , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Hermie Sadler , Kirk Shelmerdine , Steve Grissom , Phil Parsons , L.W. Miller , Stevie Reeves , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , Mark Poole