BUSCH: Watkins Glen Friday Notes

Lysol 200 Friday notebook By Dave Rodman WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 25, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday leading up to Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International. Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the ...

Lysol 200 Friday notebook By Dave Rodman

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 25, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday leading up to Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the fastest lap in a 51-minute practice that was curtailed with about 35 minutes remaining when a light rain began to fall. However, "Lil E's" practice ended with a loud pop on the frontstretch that signaled the end of the engine and transmission on his No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet. Before it expired, Earnhardt Jr. clocked a best lap of 1:15.926 around the 2.45-mile layout, an average speed of 116.166 mph, on his eighth lap. "We had the fastest lap, but we're still not where we want to be," Earnhardt Jr.said. "There's really nothing much else to say about it."

Interestingly enough, series regulars filled out the next nine spots in the top-10 -- if you count returning 77-race veteran Butch Miller as a regular. Jason Keller was second-best, nearly a second off Earnhardt Jr.'s pace, in the Fleming Team-IGA Chevy. Randy LaJoie in the Bob Evans Chevy, Jeff Green in the Kleenex/Scott Chevy and Matt Kenseth in the DeWalt Chevrolet rounded out the top-5. Miller was enthused to run 10th in his first race of the rest of the season in the Channellock Chevrolet.

Buckshot Jones' crew was still thrashing on their No. 00 Cheez-It Pontiac at 6 p.m. ET, after Jones crashed into the wall in the McDonald's Inner Loop section of the track, at the end of the back straightaway. Jones rumpled the left side of the car, particularly the left rear, after running the 16th fastest time of the 39 cars that went out on track.

Fifty cars are at WGI attempting to qualify for the 44-car field. The Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring teams of drivers Walter Riley and former Canadian sports car racer Jason Holehouse were no-shows Friday afternoon.

New York's Lieutenant Governor, Mary O. Donohue, will give the command to fire engines Sunday as the grand marshal for the Lysol 200. In her first trip to Watkins Glen, Donohue will give the famous "Start Your Engines" command to the 44-car field. "I am thrilled to be visiting Watkins Glen, taking part as the grand marshal and officially starting the Lysol 200," Donohue said. "New York State is very fortunate to have such an internationally famous race track and I look forward to spending time in this beautiful part of the Southern Tier region."

Sasser Motorsports has named 27-year-old Teddy L. Brown as crew chief for its team, which is attempting to make its first start, in the Lysol 200 with driver Chris Cook. The youthful Virginian has previously worked with NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Michael Waltrip and Dick Trickle, in addition to four NASCAR Busch Series teams. The team is sponsored by Overton's, the world's largest watersports dealer. Brown doesn't mince words about what it takes for a modestly-financed team to slug it out toe-to-toe with some of the sporting world's best-financed competitors.

"Mentally, you already know you are behind; but you've got to keep yourself pumped and you've got to look at every little detail," Brown said. "What the big guys are giving up in detail, they are making up in, for example, a $20,000 brake system; where we're using a $4,000 brake system. We've got to make everything else the best we can, and mentally beat them."

"A race team goes through a lot of preparation for a road course race -- probably more than any other single event on the schedule," owner/driver Phil Parsons said of the preparation of his ALLTEL Chevrolet. "It takes a lot of time to convert a race car into a road race car. You have to flip-flop the opening for the fuel cell from the left side of the car to the right. You have to install a special transmission. You have to install a special rear-end housing. You have to move a lot of weight around so the car's balanced. Sometimes it's easier to build a road course car than it is to convert a short track car."

I'll be the first to admit it takes time to get used to a road course," said Kingsford/Matchlight Chevrolet driver Mike Dillon. "The first time I went to Watkins Glen in 1996, it was a lot of fun making left- and right-handed turns, but you always felt like you're on the verge of disaster. What I've learned in the last three years is to be consistent. It's so easy to over-drive the car. You can use up your brakes and wear out your tires if you try to go too fast. That's why the guys who win on the road courses are usually guys with reputations for being smart and very, very consistent."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth , Dick Trickle , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Jeff Green , Buckshot Jones , Phil Parsons , Bob Evans , Chris Cook , Butch Miller , Jason Holehouse