MBNA Gold 200 Friday Notebook By Dave Rodman DOVER, Del. (Sept. 18, 1998) Notes and quotes following Bud Pole Award Qualifying Friday for the MBNA Gold 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway: Buckshot Jones was simply beside himself...
MBNA Gold 200 Friday Notebook By Dave Rodman
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 18, 1998) Notes and quotes following Bud Pole Award Qualifying Friday for the MBNA Gold 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway:
Buckshot Jones was simply beside himself with glee after he qualified his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division car eighth, prior to putting the Stavola Brothers' Realtree Extra Chevrolet into the field in 14th for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA Gold 400.
"I love Dover," Jones said after exiting his Bayer/Alka-Seltzer Pontiac. "I don't know what it is, but some guys like certain tracks, and I love this place. I don't know if it's my driving style, but I do know the guys on both teams have given me great setups. We're excited about both Saturday and Sunday."
Three teams entered in the MBNA Gold 200 have made driver changes heading into Saturday's race at Dover.
Nathan Buttke, fresh off a three-race substitute role for Jeff Purvis with the No. 4 Lance Snacks Chevrolet team, will drive the No. 50 Dr Pepper Ford this weekend, as the third different driver the team has used since Jimmy Foster was released. Buttke was forced to use a provisional to get into the field after qualifying 38th quickest.
Rich Bickle, who took over for an injured Greg Sacks in the No. 98 Thorn Apple Valley Ford, will do a similar deed at Dover when he drives the No. 59 Kingsford/Matchlight Chevrolet this weekend in place of Robert Pressley, who suffered injuries in a hard wreck last week at Richmond, Va.
Bickle made the field in 34th spot.
Casey Atwood, who at age 17 became the youngest driver to win a NASCAR Busch Series Bud Pole earlier this season, will drive the No. 63 Lysol Chevrolet this weekend in place of Tracy Leslie, who left the team earlier this week. Atwood, who will finish the season in the collaborative effort by Brewco Motorsports and Hensley Racing, qualified 32nd.
Thanks to a 43-car field being in the Dover garage, 61-year-old Delaware resident Hal Browning will become the oldest driver to start a series race at Dover on Saturday when he comes to the line in 43rd in the No. 46 Sunoco Chevrolet.
Leslie, who plans to return at some point this season with his own No. 11 Chevrolet, was seen prowling the Dover garage area, exploring his options for the balance of 1998, as well '99.
Country music stars Neil McCoy and Tracy Byrd are in town to give a free concert to race fans Saturday night, starting at 7 p.m. EDT, in the area behind the credential office at Dover.
The concert is being taped by TNN: The Nashville Network for a special, "Racin' & Rock 'N" to air Sept. 28 on TNN.
In addition, Byrd will sing the National Anthem for Saturday's race and McCoy will sing the National Anthem for Sunday's event.
Bobby Hillin was forced to take a provisional starting position and will line up 39th in his Clean Shower Chevrolet after he crashed on his Bud Pole Qualifying lap. Hillin managed to get out for a limited number of laps in Happy Hour practice.
Andy Santerre bookended a fastest lap in the first practice by turning the best lap in Happy Hour in his MONRO Muffler Brake & Service Chevrolet. Santerre was clocked in 23.778 seconds, an average speed of 151.400 mph, to lead Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ken Schrader as the top-three practicers.
The only car not to practice was that of part-time competitor Joey McCarthy.
Earnhardt's speed in Happy Hour was an ominous sign of the possible strength that led to him winning the spring Dover race.
Bud Pole winner Kevin Grubb will run a car he calls "The Punisher" at Dover. The car -- which is starkly devoid of advertising signage -- was qualified 12th and finished 32nd at Darlington in its only other race outing.
Grubb also tested the car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Source: NASCAR Online