FRIDAY PRACTICE NOTES Under sunny skies, 30 NASCAR Grand National Division entries took to the flat half-mile track for their first practice session. Brian Hoar emerged with the fastest time at 21.214 seconds, 84.850 miles per hour. Bryon Chew...
FRIDAY PRACTICE NOTES
Under sunny skies, 30 NASCAR Grand National Division entries took to the flat half-mile track for their first practice session. Brian Hoar emerged with the fastest time at 21.214 seconds, 84.850 miles per hour. Bryon Chew was second fastest at 21.239 with Peyton Sellers third quickest at 21.283.
Ryan Moore was absent from the track on Friday due to his participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. His father, Kelly Moore, the all-time leader in series wins and poles, practiced the R.C. Moore Transportation #74 and turned the 17th fastest time. Kelly is expected to race in superspeedway events only in 2006, as he did last year.
Ryan's plans call for a Saturday morning flight from Dallas to Greenville in order to arrive by practice time.
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Four drivers had registered for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program by the end of the day. They are John Freeman of Huntersville, N.C., Brent Cross of Cortland, N.Y., Dion Ciccarelli of Severn, Md., and Rogelio Lopez, the Mexican driver now residing in Miami. Freeman was fastest of the quartet in practice, posting the tenth fastest time in Barney McRae's #5 which carried Sean Caisse to rookie honors last year.
Several other drivers are eligible to register for the Sunoco Rookie program and my receive points from Greenville-Pickens by completing their applications before the green flag drops on Saturday's event.
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Ruben Pardo, 26, who competes regularly for FitzContreras Racing in the Desafio Corona Series in Mexico, will make his first series start this Saturday night at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Pardo is coming off his best finish of the season, third, last week in Guadalajara, Mexico and is excited about his U.S. debut.
"I want to thank Armando Fitz, our sponsors and the entire race team for giving me an opportunity to advance my career in NASCAR," said Pardo. The past 29 races Pardo has accumulated 19 top-5 finishes, two poles, and 3 wins. In 2004, he finished second in the series to his brother Carlos, who won the Championship. The No. 12 FitzBradshaw Dodge will carry the Family Dollar paint scheme this weekend as Pardo makes his Busch East debut.
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From the department of "you can't tell the players without a scorecard," a couple of drivers appeared with different numbers than on the original entry list. Eddie MacDonald and crew chief Rollie Lachance have teamed up to put Eddie Mac back on track as the #48 MacDonald Motorsports Chevrolet, while Joey McCarthy's STI Motorsports entry switched from # 13 to #3 when the number became available. The trio of STI cars now all sport the prized single-digit numerals, with Rich Gould in the Nassau Painting #2 and Laine Chase in the Hot Tubs & More #8.
Also showing up in new livery was Joe Masessa, whose Moore Racing-prepared #14 was dressed in red, the color and number making it look not unlike A.J. Foyt's last NASCAR entries. And over in the Scott Bouley pit, a tradition was revived as the #26 reverted to "plum crazy", the all-purple paint job carried on his pro stocks at Stafford Motor Speedway and his early Busch East cars as well.
Saturday's on-track activity starts with practice from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., with Busch Pole Qualifying at 6:00 p.m. The track gates will swing open for the on-track autograph session, a Greenville-Pickens tradition, at 7:00 p.m. Pre-race activities featuring grand marshal David Pearson and honorary starter Jack Ingram are scheduled for 7:45 p.m., with the green flag shortly after HDNet air time at 8:00 p.m.