BUSCH: Milwaukee Saturday Notes

DieHard 250 Saturday Notebook Shawn A. Akers WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 4, 1998) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division DieHard 250 at The Milwaukee Mile: Randy LaJoie isn't going...

DieHard 250 Saturday Notebook Shawn A. Akers

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 4, 1998) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division DieHard 250 at The Milwaukee Mile:

Randy LaJoie isn't going to kid himself. If he's going to have a chance to win his third consecutive NASCAR Busch Series championship, he's going to have to get to Victory Lane soon.

The driver of the No. 74 FINA Chevrolet hasn't posted a win yet this season, and is currently in fourth place in the series point standings, a whopping 309 points behind leader Matt Kenseth, who has two wins in 1998.

Milwaukee would be an ideal place for LaJoie to get his first victory this year. He won last year's DieHard 250, and finished third at the flat one-mile oval in 1996.

"We have had a lot of success here over the past two years and I hope it continues this weekend," LaJoie said. "This team needs a win -- bad. There will be some good cars here this weekend, and we should be one of them."

With 14 races to go, the three drivers in front of LaJoie -- Kenseth, Mike McLaughlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- have shown no signs of faltering this year, which makes LaJoie's task of overtaking them that much more difficult.

In the champ's favor entering Sunday's race, the No. 74 FINA Chevrolet was tops in "Happy Hour" practice Saturday afternoon. LaJoie turned in a fastest lap of 118.883 mph, topping Earnhardt, who was second with a lap of 118.620 mph. Tim Fedewa was third-fastest (118.258 mph), followed by Mark Green (118.083 mph) and McLaughlin (118.041 mph).

The limited number of entries for Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series DieHard 250 ensures that there will be two women in the race's starting lineup. Both Patty Moise and Kat Teasdale merely had to attempt to qualify on Saturday, with only 41 cars trying to make the race.

There have been two female drivers in a NASCAR Busch Series race six times in the series' history -- twice in each of 1991, 1994 and 1995. Moise and Shawna Robinson accomplished the feat last in 1995.

Both Teasdale, in the No. 54 IGA Chevrolet, and Moise, in the No. 14 Rhodes Furniture Ford, failed to qualify for last Sunday's Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International.

"I am hoping for a good qualifying effort and a good finish for IGA this weekend," Teasdale said. "I am very excited about the possibility of making my Busch Grand National debut at The Milwaukee Mile. Although we've never raced here, I have been studying the track and looking forward to racing there."

Jimmy Foster has been waiting nearly three months for this moment -- the moment he can get back behind the wheel competitively for the No. 50 Dr Pepper Ford team.

Foster, who broke his foot in an accident at Texas Motor Speedway in early April, has missed 10 races since then recuperating from his injuries. Several drivers, including Dave Rezendes, have filled in for Foster during his absence. Rezendes finished 14th in last weekend's Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen. Andy Santerre now has a healthy lead in the race for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. After 15 starts, Santerre, in the No. 47 Monro Muffler & Brakes Chevrolet, has 1,272 points, while second-place Mike Cope, driver of the No. 30 Slim Jim Chevrolet, has 1,137 points. Cope is the only other Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate to have made 15 starts this season. Matt Hutter, who no longer drives the No. 36 Stanley Tools Pontiac, is third with 1,114 points, while Blaise Alexander, in the No. 20 Rescue Engine Formula Chevrolet, has 956 points. Santerre is 22nd in the overall NASCAR Busch Series points race. His best finish is 11th, at Bristol in April.

Despite the postponement of the NASCAR Winston Cup Pepsi 400 in Daytona this weekend due to the wildfires in Florida, Robert Pressley will not drive the No. 59 ST Motorsports Kingsford Matchlight Charcoal Chevrolet Sunday.

Pressley, who is the car's regular driver, has opted to take the weekend off. Ron Hornaday, who is in Milwaukee for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series DieHard 200 on Saturday, qualified the car and will drive on Sunday as well.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth , Shawna Robinson , Robert Pressley , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Blaise Alexander , Mark Green