Hardee's 250 Thursday Notebook By Dave Rodman RICHMOND, Va. (May 13, 1999) Notes and quotes Thursday following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for Friday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Hardee's 250 at Richmond International ...
Hardee's 250 Thursday Notebook By Dave Rodman
RICHMOND, Va. (May 13, 1999) Notes and quotes Thursday following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for Friday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Hardee's 250 at Richmond International Raceway:
Jeff Burton's Roush Racing-owned No. 9 Ford Taurus, which normally carries sponsorship from Track Gear, is dressed in yellow-and-red livery and Hardee's signage for Friday's night's 250-lap event. This is a one-race deal with the associate sponsor of Jack Roush'e entire racing program. Burton qualified 12th but was not too terribly disappointed. "My car was a lot loose," said the driver who led the series standings earlier this season and who still heads the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points. "I think there's a little moisture in the air which could be hurting some things. There's nothing wrong with the sealer. The sealer's great. It was not a bad lap."
Former two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie was singing a familiar complaint after he qualified 11th in his No. 1 Bob Evans Chevrolet. "No, that's not enough to hold up for the pole," LaJoie said. "It was better than we practiced, but I still left something out there (on the track). Where did I leave it? I think it was somewhere between my head and my foot."
Even though it has been more than a year since the .75-mile Richmond layout was last treated with "sealer," several drivers fell afoul of the high-banked, tricky track Thursday. Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashed his primary car between Turns 3 and 4 and had to go to a backup ACDelco Chevrolet to qualify 4th. Philip Morris also wrecked his primary Value America Chevrolet, which sadly displayed a spiffy new paint scheme, in practice. Morris was only 48th best in a yellow and red backup Monte Carlo.
In Bud Pole Qualifying, Brad Loney was only 52nd-quickest after one lap, but he wrecked coming off Turn 2 in his Coyne Textile Services Chevrolet, which briefly broke into flames before being extinguished by the track crew. Loney walked away from the car, but he'll need a backup to qualify in Bud Second-Round Qualifying on Friday. Lyndon Amick had to do a dance to make his attempt. He spun heading off Turn 4 coming to take the white flag and creased the right rear corner of his SCANA/Powertel Chevrolet. The team remained in the garage area in the early evening making repairs to that car.
Jeff Fuller had a "pumpkin car" -- a bright orange No. 89 Heritage Consumer Products Chevrolet -- on hand for his 101st series start, and the New England native put it handily in the field in 17th.
Dick Trickle nailed his Bud Pole Qualifying effort in the Schneider Chevrolet right on the head. "We were 7th-quickest in practice, so, we should be right up from there somewhere," the chain-smoking veteran said. "About everyone will pick up about a half-second. We picked up 6/10ths of a second from practice."
Trickle put his orange Monte Carlo 6th on the grid.
NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kevin Lepage had a shot at the Bud Pole in the No. 99 Red Man Chevrolet, before slotting into 3rd on the grid. He said his car was a challenge to drive, especially since he had taken a number of races off from his NASCAR Busch Series ride. "Not bad, since I haven't been in the Red Man car for a while," he said. "It was a handful. I just hope it turns out to be a good starting spot."
Ernie Irvan was excited about qualifying his No. 14 Federated Auto Parts Pontiac 8th for his return to the NASCAR Busch Series. "We'll make the race and that's the most important thing," said Irvan immediately after exiting his car. "We came up here and tested with our Winston Cup car (No. 36 M&Ms Pontiac) and the track's got more grip right now than it's had in a long time. I had no idea, really, what we had run or where we wound up, but I do know the car felt decent."
Jeff Purvis was another driver who complained of a loose condition in his No. 4 Lance Snacks Chevrolet. "We were a little looser than I would have like for it to have been in the corners," he said. "It was kind of like it was lifting up. But I know we've got a good car."
Source: NASCAR Online