BUSCH: Hickory Friday Notes

Galaxy Foods 300 Friday Notebook By Shawn A. Akers HICKORY, N.C. (April 10, 1998) Notes from Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Galaxy Foods 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway: Hermie Sadler is still ...

Galaxy Foods 300 Friday Notebook By Shawn A. Akers

HICKORY, N.C. (April 10, 1998)

Notes from Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Galaxy Foods 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway:

Hermie Sadler is still recovering from an accident in last Saturday's Coca-Cola 300 at Texas, but he's improving with each day. The driver of the No. 29 DeWalt Tools Chevrolet slightly dislocated his knee during the accident, but said the pain and swelling have subsided and he'll be ready for Saturday's race.

This past Monday, he went to the doctor for x-rays, and Tuesday he had an MRI done on the knee.

"They put it back in place, and the whole process took about three minutes," Sadler said. "It hurt just as much when they did that as the accident did, but since then, the pain has subsided and there's very little swelling. It still hurts when I bend it a certain way, but it feels much better now. I'm walking good, so that's a plus."

Sadler will make his 148th consecutive career NASCAR Busch Series start on Saturday, starting from the 17th position.

Neither Jimmy Foster nor Jeff Purvis, however, is as fortunate. Both drivers, injured in accidents at Texas, are still recovering and were forced to miss this week's race at Hickory. Andy Houston, a Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring, regular, will drive Foster's car, while local favorite Dennis Setzer will pilot the No. 4 Lance Snacks Chevrolet for Purvis. Setzer qualified 15th for Saturday's race.

Foster, the driver of the No. 50 Dr. Pepper Ford, has a chipped bone in between two of his toes after hitting the wall hard at Texas Motor Speedway. He was on crutches in his trailer Friday morning.

"It still hurts quite a bit, and it would have been difficult for me to drive this race track," Foster said. "I'm going back to the doctor next week, and it's good that we've got a week off after that. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the car at Talladega."

Purvis suffered a broken shoulder at Texas, and the grueling turns at Hickory wouldn't have helped matters for him. The NASCAR Busch Series is off next weekend and will return to action at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25.

Hank Parker Jr.'s misfortunes continued Friday morning at Hickory. Parker, who was injured last weekend in a hard crash in practice prior to the race at Texas, slammed the wall in Turn 2 at Hickory and damaged his No. 78 Mark III Motorsports Chevrolet to the point where he had to withdraw from Bud Pole Qualifying.

Parker's health was steadily improving this week following the accident at Texas, and he had tested at Greenville-Pickens (S.C) Speedway on Friday to get a feel whether or not he'd be ready to run at Hickory this weekend.

Now for some potentially good news. Justin Boots, which appeared as a one-race sponsor on Jason Keller's No. 57 Progressive Motorsports Chevrolet, agreed to another one-race deal for Hickory. Keller said the team and the company are still talking about Justin Boots coming on board full-time for the rest of the season.

"We ran bad, and we hated that, but I think they received a lot of positive feedback from being on the car at Texas," Keller said. "We're talking, and we hope they decide to get behind us for the whole deal. You can't get any better advertisement than being in NASCAR racing, and I think the heads at Justin Boots realize that. We're keeping our fingers crossed."

Keller is currently 11th in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, having run six of the first seven races unsponsored.

Elliott Sadler, currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., will start at the back of the field for the Galaxy Foods 300. Sadler crashed his primary No. 66 Phillips 66 Chevrolet during "Happy Hour" practice on Friday.

This will be Matt Hutter's first time racing at Hickory Motor Speedway.

"I'm not concerned about the track," Hutter said. "The team has worked hard to get the car ready for this weekend and I think we have a good shot at finishing well."

Hutter, currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings (90 points behind Andy Santerre), had to use a provisional to make Saturday's race.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jason Keller , Hank Parker Jr. , Andy Houston , Dennis Setzer , Jeff Purvis , Hermie Sadler , Elliott Sadler