BUSCH: Monday Practice Report

LaJoie leery about Bud Pole Qualifying By Shawn A. Akers DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 8, 1999) Don't pay any attention to the fact that he had the top speed during the initial NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division practice at Daytona ...

LaJoie leery about Bud Pole Qualifying By Shawn A. Akers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 8, 1999) Don't pay any attention to the fact that he had the top speed during the initial NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division practice at Daytona International Speedway on Monday, Randy LaJoie said.

LaJoie said there will be just too many factors, not to mention too many cars, when Bud Pole Qualifying for Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 300 gets underway at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at the 2.5-mile trioval.

"If they'd let us draft in qualifying, we could probably put up a number like that," said LaJoie, who topped all drivers Monday afternoon with a fast lap of 190.351 mph. "There are so many race cars out there. We're in the ballpark.

"It looks like we're a top-five car. It's hard to test here with the cars. I think we're in the ballpark. I don't think we can run that (during qualifying). We're going to need some help obviously, I do believe. But at least we're not at the bottom of the sheet."

LaJoie will make his first qualifying attempt for his new team, owner James Finch's Phoenix Racing, in the No. 1 Chevrolet. The two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion said he's not thinking about winning the Bud Pole, just trying to qualify in the top-10.

"I think if we can run a low (47.) 40 (seconds), we'll be pretty good," LaJoie said. "All I'm shooting for is the top-five or top-10."

A total of 63 NASCAR Busch Series cars hit the race track for practice on Monday. Sixty-five cars are in the garage area.

Second-year driver Dave Blaney, in the No. 93 Amoco Pontiac, was second in Monday afternoon practice with a fast lap of 189.605 mph.

"We're really pleased with the way we're running," Blaney said. "We did a lot of work since testing, got a real good engine to come down here with, and we're sure we've got a real good car. We were confident we could be in the top-10. I hope when qualifying's over, that's where we end up.

"Based on today's practice, I think we've got a good shot at the pole, but it's hard to tell. Guys could come up with some stuff. We think we've got a little bit left, and who knows. I'm feeling good."

Brewco Motorsports teammates Casey Atwood (189.498 mph) and Kevin Grubb (189.446) were third and fourth, respectively, in practice, followed by Ken Schrader, Terry Labonte, Todd Bodine, Mike McLaughlin, Loy Allen and Larry Pearson.

Atwood said he wasn't sure what to expect during Bud Pole Qualifying on Tuesday.

"We had a little help from the draft," Atwood said. "It was late and everybody was out there for another lap. We just want to get in and get out of this in one piece."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Ken Schrader , Casey Atwood , Mike McLaughlin , Kevin Grubb , Dave Blaney
Teams Phoenix Racing