BUSCH: Hickory Qualifying Story

Pressley scores first Bud Pole at Hickory By Shawn A. Akers HICKORY, N.C. (April 10, 1998) Robert Pressley hasn't had the kind of 1998 he envisioned for his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team. Four finishes of 30th or worse...

Pressley scores first Bud Pole at Hickory By Shawn A. Akers

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

Robert Pressley hasn't had the kind of 1998 he envisioned for his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team. Four finishes of 30th or worse and two DNQs have made for a disappointing start.

But Pressley took a step in the right direction by winning the Bud Pole for Saturday's Galaxy Foods 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway. It won't make up for the misfortune he and the No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet team have had to endure, but it's a start.

"We've had a little trouble with this Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet the last few weeks," said Pressley, who failed to qualify for the last two races. "All the little stuff, all the problems, though, I think we've taken care of and corrected this week. I think a pole here at Hickory shows how strong this team can be. Hopefully we can keep it up front and maybe get a victory here."

Pressley posted a lap of 88.453 mph around the .363-mile oval to win his first career Bud Pole in the series.

Pressley's last NASCAR Busch Series victory came in 1993, when he won three races as a regular in the series.

While he never raced at Hickory Motor Speedway on a regular basis, Pressley has grown quite fond of the race track, located about an hour west of his hometown of Asheville, N.C.

"I've always liked this track," said Pressley, whose best finish in a NASCAR Busch Series race there was fourth, in 1990. "We've always run good in the Busch car here. To me, it's just like being back home, and this is as close as you can get."

Pressley's best finish this season was 17th, in the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 200 at Rockingham in February. He led the most laps and appeared to be on his way to victory in the BellSouth Mobility/Opryland USA 320 at Nashville in March, but wrecked in the final 10 laps and finished 31st.

Pressley edged out Ed Berrier, driver of the No. 77 Lear/UAW Ford, for the top spot. Berrier turned a lap of 88.107 mph. Kevin Grubb was third at 87.876 mph, followed by Phil Parsons at 87.817 mph and Mike Dillon, who ran 87.658 mph.

Buckshot Jones, Andy Houston, Glenn Allen, Dick Trickle and Joe Bessey rounded out the top-10. Trickle is the race's defending champion, having earned his first career NASCAR Busch Series win here last year.

Points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr., coming off a thrilling victory in last weekend's Coca-Cola 300 at Texas, qualified 16th. Jason Jarrett, whose family name is synonymous with Hickory Motor Speedway, qualified 19th.

The top-24 cars made the field on time, and there were seven provisionals awarded. Mike McLaughlin, Tony Stewart, Tracy Leslie, Andy Santerre, Kevin Cywinski and Matt Hutter were all awarded provisionals, as was Randy LaJoie, who was awarded the past champions' provisional and will start Saturday's race from the 31st spot.

Kevin Lepage (25th), Randy Porter, Johnny Rumley, Blaise Alexander, Patty Moise, Chris Diamond, Johnny Chapman, Shane Jenkins and Eddie Beahr failed to make the field. Hank Parker Jr. crashed in practice and withdrew from the event.

     Saturday's Galaxy Foods 300 is scheduled to start at 4:05 EDT. 
  

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Dick Trickle , Kevin Lepage , Hank Parker Jr. , Buckshot Jones , Andy Houston , Robert Pressley , Mike McLaughlin , Blaise Alexander , Kevin Grubb , Jason Jarrett , Ed Berrier , Phil Parsons , Johnny Chapman , Randy Po , Johnny R