BUSCH: Talladega report

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS OF 4TH ANNUAL HUMMINBIRD FISHFINDERS 500K ROUND 16 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES, GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION RACE AT TALLADEGA 1. Chad Little, 117 laps in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds; avg. speed 122.903; margin of victory .10 seconds;...


1. Chad Little, 117 laps in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds; avg. speed 122.903; margin of victory .10 seconds; 8 cautions for 37 laps; 28 lead changes among 14 drivers; 2. Jimmy Spencer; 3. Kenny Wallace; 4. Joe Nemechek; 5. Johnny Benson; 6. Mike Wallace; 7. Patty Moise; 8. Rick Wilson; 9. Ken Schrader; 10. Elton Sawyer; 11. Johnny Rumley; 12. Jeff Green, 113 laps; 13. Dale Fischlein, 111; 14. Jeff Fuller, 109; 15. Terry Labonte, 109; 16. Tommy Houston, 109; 17. Larry Pearson, 109; 18. Robbie Reiser, 109; 19. David Green, 104; 20. Michael Waltrip, 94; 21. Hermie Sadler, 85; 22. Kevin Lepage, 71; 23. Tracy Leslie, 69; 24. Bobby Dotter, 69; 25. Curtis Markham, 62; 26. Doug Heveron, 59; 27. David Bonnett, 58; 28. Tim Fedewa, 43; 29. Steve Grissom, 41; 30. Mark Martin, 40; 31. Jeff Purvis, 32; 32. Mike McLaughlin, 22; 33. Jason Keller, 14; 34. Randy LaJoie, 10; 35. Phil Parsons, 9; 36. Ward Burton, 9; 37. Bobby Hamilton, 9; 38. Jim Bown, 9; 39. Rodney Combs, 9; 40. Hut Stricklin, 9; 41. Stevie Reeves, 9; 42. Randy Porter, 9.

BUSCH SERIES POINTS: 1. Benson 2306, 2. Little 2255, 3. J. Green 1988, 4. Keller 1981, 5. McLaughlin 1942, 6. Pearson 1941, 7. Fedewa 1812, 8. Parsons 1766, 9. Combs 1745, 10. Dotter 1727.


HUT STRICKLIN (#37 Kleenex Ford) -- (After Rich Bickle failed to qualify for the Humminbird Fishfinder 500k, his Kleenex sponsorship was tranferred to the Stricklin-Arquette Racing team's car. In addition, 10 percent of the car's winnings will be donated to the Alabama DARE program. That entire sponsorship program is usually carried by Bickle.)


RANDY PORTER (#18 Unifirst Uniforms Ford) -- I was coming down through the trioval and saw Ward (Burton) sideways and on his lid. I thought I was clear. I saw Rodney (Combs) and Bobby (Hamilton) up high and I thought I was through it. I was just rolling and thought I was OK, but I guessed I got tapped from behind.

DAVID GREEN (#44 Slim Jim Chevrolet) -- Hut (Stricklin) was behind me and I saw Ward (Burton) go around and I just rolled out of the throttle and Hut rear-ended me, but it wasn't his fault -- that's racing. But, the problem is, whoever spun the 95 car...it's too early in the race. We all agreed to be patient. (Green rejoined the race.)

TIM FEDEWA (#55 Duragloss/Little Joe's Ford) -- I saw Ward (Burton) and I went to the right to get out of it. I got into the wall. We had a good car. I'd rather wreck early running good than wreck late running bad.

HUT STRICKLIN (#37 Kleenex Ford) -- I saw Ward (Burton) get on his roof and everyone was trying to dodge him. Then everyone started running into each other. It's just one of those things, I really thought we were running good and we thought we had a shot at them, but it just wasn't meant to be. When one car messes up, it messes it up for 10 or 15 others.

DOUG HEVERON (#35 Cincinnati Milacron Ford) -- I had it slowed down to about 30 miles-an-hour and just kept driving and driving and driving... When I got through all of the smoke more cars came together and I just didn't have anywhere to go.

BOBBY HAMILTON (#42 J&J Band-Aid Pontiac) -- I'm OK -- I really didn't hit that hard. The first thing that I saw was the 95 car (Ward Burton) get upside down. We steered away from it and it looked like me and Rodney (Combs) had it cleared and someone hit me in the left rear. It was just everybody going for the same hole. We were fast -- real fast.

RODNEY COMBS (#43 Sports Design Pontiac) -- I just seen Ward (Burton) get upside down -- I don't know what caused that but I knew it was gonna be bad. It looked like Randy (Porter) and Bobby Hamilton were pretty straight and got slowed up and was gonna get through there. But Bobby got turned a little bit which in turn got me turned a little bit. I guess the guys in the back, with the smoke, couldn't see and man, I've never been hit so hard. The chewing gum I had in my mouth was on the front of my shield and I bit my tongue. The car was definitely going to the front. Rick (Wilson) and Bobby (Hamilton) and I were taking it easy on the top side and taking it to the front.

CURTIS MARKHAM (#63 Lysol Pontiac) -- It looked like somebody must've got into Ward or something in the trioval. Jeff Hensley (spotter) hollered 'wreck in the trioval' and I got it slowed up as I saw him flipping. We were all waving our hands and slowing down and it looked like we got through the wreck. The smoke was behind me and I called on the radio and said 'I missed it.' I put it in third gear and about that time Rodney Combs come up from the bottom. I think somebody got into him and shot him up in front of Randy Porter and myself. We both hit him and I came down and hit the inside wall because I didn't have any brakes. The guys worked so hard to get this Pontiac running good here. We were hanging with the pack and hoping for a good day but there'll be others.

PHIL PARSONS (#99 Luxaire Chevrolet) -- It looked like Benson turned Ward Burton and he went flying through the air. He was right in front of me and I just kept going high and going high and going high. I don't know if I ran out of room or if he ran into me and knocked me into the wall.

DAVID BONNETT (#03 Humminbird Chevrolet) -- When I saw all of the smoke (in first accident), I hit my brakes and thought that we were going to be all right. We came into pit road with a cut tire and when I touched the brakes, we just spun around and hit pit wall. Racing is a sport where you just have to learn and wrecking is just part of the learning process.

WARD BURTON (#95 Caterpillar Chevrolet) -- It was a pretty scary ride. I'm glad to still be here. I'm OK. I'm really not sure what happened. The Caterpillar car had done a great job and we had come from 30th to the top 10 someplace. We come through the trioval and picked up the 3 car and I must've got a little tap in the back end or something. That's the only thing that would get me loose at that point. From there I tried to get back on the gas and get out of everybody's way but it got a little airborne. It was "Days of Thunder" all over again because I just saw the pavement in front of me. It was one of those rides -- just one of those things. I'm OK and we'll get 'em next week.

JIM BOWN (#51 Luck's Foods Chevrolet) -- The first thing I seen was Ward going up in the air. Everybody started letting off and most of them had gotten to the inside. It was just too little too late and everybody got out of control.

MIKE MCLAUGHLIN (#34 French's/Black Flag Chevrolet) -- I cut down a right rear tire. I could smell the smoke and was ready to pit for the team to check it out. Before I knew it, the rear end of the car just came around and I was into the wall. The car was a little bit loose at the beginning, but we tightened it up a little and it seemed to be real good after that.

STEVE GRISSOM (#29 ChannelLock Chevrolet) -- A couple of cars got caught up in front of us and unfortunately we got caught up in it. It was just one of those racing deals where we were at the wrong place at the right time. The team had a super car and we found ourselves up toward the front and then at the back and then worked our way back up front. Unfortunately, we came up a bit short.

STEVE HMIEL (team manager #6 Valvoline Ford) -- (On Winn-Dixie Ford driver Mark Martin's condition.) He banged his left knee on the steering column. (After being x-rayed at Citizen's Baptist Medical Center in Talladega a crewman reported that Martin's x-rays only revealed bruises. Martin returned for final practice with the aid of crutches.)

JEFF PURVIS (#4 Kodak Funsaver Chevrolet) -- When I was leading, I cut down a right rear tire. Then the rain came out and saved me from losing a lap. Then I went back out and cut the same right rear. I don't know what the deal is. It's really frustrating. All I can do now is go get my Winston Cup car ready for tomorrow. TOMMY HOUSTON (Red Devil Enamels Ford) -- It's been about 10 years since I've had to get a relief driver (because of excess heat or fumes in the car). Our problem today was the first wreck -- the rear crush panels were destroyed and fumes were getting inside the car. Even with the driver change (to Randy LaJoie) we were able to stay in the lead lap. We knew Randy could take it to the front.

KEVIN LEPAGE (#71 Vermont Teddy Bear Chevrolet) -- We came in about two pit stops before and the brakes were really spongy. Last time in, the brakes were really spongy again so I kept pumping them and the back end of the car just came around. It's too bad. The Vermont Teddy Bear Monte Carlo was running really good. We had a good chance at a top 10 finish. This is a hard race. All you need to do is touch somebody a little bit and they'll go around.

TRACY LESLIE (#72 Detroit Gasket Chevrolet) -- A car got underneath me and then came up into me. The next thing I know I'm sliding through the grass into the inside retaining wall. We had a real good car today. It was just wait and see. I was just waiting and letting them do what they had to do.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (#30 Pennzoil Pontiac) -- I don't really know what happened. Somebody ran over me. We were running good, I know that. The Pennzoil Pontiac was handling really well, and next thing I know, I was going backward through the trioval. I know from past experience that's not a good thing. Everybody did a super job. We ran a different set-up than we usually do to try to make the thing run good. We had a shot to win the race.

TERRY LABONTE (#14 MW Windows Chevrolet) -- That 47 (Jeff Fuller) had been trying to wreck for a number of laps. When you race around boys like that you've got to expect it to happen sooner or later. I'm all right.

JEFF FULLER (#47 Sunoco 260 Chevrolet) -- I guess the #75 (Rick Wilson) car got up behind me and took the air off my spoiler. This is my first time here and I was just trying to get some drafting experience. But you know you learn from your mistakes. I can't wait to look at the tape to see exactly what happened. I think we had a good car, capable of a top 10 or maybe a lot better. It just depends on who you can get to work with you, and having that yellow stripe on your bumper doesn't help. But I'm not whining, I understand that's part of being a rookie.


JIMMY SPENCER (#20 FINA Ford) -- The motor was missing all day. Chad cut me off in the first turn (on the last lap) and I couldn't get around him. I would have done the same thing. He races to win and I congratulate him for that. I needed more than one lap to get around him. It wasn't too hot for me. Just drink more water!

KEN SCHRADER (#52 AC-Delco Chevrolet) -- It didn't pick up all the fuel (when car faltered on last restart). We knew it would be close, but we thought we could make it. We had a pretty good car all day. I couldn't run with 'em but I could outhandle 'em.

KENNY WALLACE (#8 Red Dog Ford) -- The plan today was sit back and ride. For some reason, everyone wanted to run two- and three-wide the whole race. That's not the way to run these races. It's just a matter of time (before an accident happens). My crew chief and my spotter told me to go when I had to. On the last lap, I was perfect. Ken Schrader ran out of gas and kept me from trying to win it.

JOHNNY BENSON (#74 Lipton Tea Chevrolet) -- My cool helmet quit on about lap 20, so it was really hot. That was exciting. (On first accident.) I hate it for Ward Burton. He came down a little bit and I couldn't get out of there because (Ken) Schrader was there and I did bump him. I feel really bad about that because I've had that done to me, too. I'm sure he's extremely upset. Obviously it wasn't anything intentional. (On the Busch Series championship.) We're not worrying about the points. We're just racing the race and racing to win. The points will take care of themselves.

JOE NEMECHEK (#87 BellSouth Mobility Chevrolet) -- You know at this race the heat is the biggest challenge. Today our cooling system went out about halfway through the race, so it got hot the rest of the way. We had a real good car today. A couple of times we got shuffled to the back, but that's Talladega. You just had to pick the right lane and before you knew it you were back up to the front. It sure was a wild race. A couple of guys just didn't use their heads. It seemed like every wreck happened right in front of me, but thanks to my spotter and crew chief I missed them all. They were the men of the day!

DALE FISCHLEIN (#70 STG/Prestige Builders Chevrolet) -- I don't know what type of step this might've been for my career (Fischlein is the 1988 NASCAR Central Division Winston Racing Series champion and a two-time national karting champion who is Dave Marcis' NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief). I'd say we drew some attention, that's for sure! This is a funny sport. A lot of it is politics and personality along with ability. You've got to have everything. I think I have the ability and all I need is a chance. I sold everything I owned, took a chance and came down south. Dave Marcis gave me an opportunity to drive one of his cars in an ARCA race. It led to Ivan and Pat Murphy of Carthage, Ill., jumping aboard as a $500 associate sponsor. That mushroomed into buying Ward Burton's Busch team. We sold what we didn't need and here we are. (On problem.) The battery failed. I don't have any new batteries for these cars. I borrow used batteries from people. (On laps led early in the race.) I could out-run 'em about anywhere, but nobody would go with me. Their spotters must've been asleep!

ELTON SAWYER (#38 Ford Credit Ford) -- When the 47 car (Fuller) spun I didn't have time to lift and hit the rear of Terry's (Labonte) car. I hate it for him but there was nothing I could do. All day our car was sluggish on restarts. It would take a couple laps to get up to speed. The last restart was one lap and I was on the end of the lead lap.

JEFF GREEN (#3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- We were running good and then we cut a left rear tire and the car started vibrating. I tried to get it straight, but I just couldn't get it to come around for me. I had an awful good car and I think we would've had something for Chad (Little) or whoever would've been there in the end. We just didn't have the right luck. There is another race next week so we'll just have to get ready for it.

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Drivers Rich Bickle , Ward Burton , Bobby Hamilton , Terry Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Ken Schrader , Jeff Fuller , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Kevin Lepage , Elton Sawyer , Mike Wallace , Johnny Benson , Mike McLaughlin , Bobby Dotter , Chad Little , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Dave Marcis , Hermie Sadler , Steve Grissom , Phil Parsons , Randy Po , Stevie Reeves , Mark Martin , Johnny R