Caudill Surprises Himself With Record Run to Bailey's 300 Pole MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 8, 2005) - Jamey Caudill may have been the most surprised driver in the infield at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon. When qualifying was finished...
Caudill Surprises Himself With Record Run to Bailey's 300 Pole
MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 8, 2005) - Jamey Caudill may have been the most surprised driver in the infield at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon.
When qualifying was finished for today's Bailey's 300 at Martinsville Speedway, Caudill was alone at the top of the scoreboard.
Caudill turned in not only the fastest lap of the day, but the fastest lap in the history of Late Model Stock racing at Martinsville Speedway to capture the pole for today's Bailey's 300.
Caudill, of Four Oaks, NC, toured the .526-mile oval in 20.806 seconds (91.012 miles per hour) to capture the pole for the biggest Late Model Stock race in the country. His time beat the mark of 20.877 (90.703 mph) set by Richard Landreth a year ago.
"I felt like we had a good car," said Caudill, who won the Bailey's 300 two years ago. "But I didn't know if we had a car good enough to make the top 22."
Only the fastest 22 drivers earned starting positions in today's race. The final 20 spots will be determined in four 25-lap heat races that begin at 12:30 p.m. today. The 200-lap feature race will begin at about 3 p.m. today.
Veteran Jason York of Reidsville, NC, captured the outside pole position with a lap of 20.962 seconds (90.335 mph) in a Chevrolet.
Aric Almirola, making his first trip to Martinsville Speedway, nailed down the third spot.
Dennis Setzer, who is leading the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points, took advantage of an off week from the truck series to secure the fourth starting spot. He was followed by Frank Deiny Jr., another former Bailey's 300 winner, in fifth. The top five drivers are all in Chevrolets.
Caudill said Saturday's run avenged his qualifying efforts here a year ago.
"We're really pleased today. Last year was a disappointing year here. We felt like we had a car that could set on the pole last year and I felt like I let the team down when we didn't," said Caudill. "To come back this year and not think we had the car to do it and then go out and run such a good time * we're just fortunate to run as good as we did."
Almirola is involved in Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity program and drives a Late Model owned by Gibbs. And while he has concentrated on late model racing this year, he ran in the ARCA event at Talladega Superspeedway a week ago and also has a couple of top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to his credit.
"I feel a lot better today than last week," said Almirola, who was taken out in an early-race crash at Talladega last week. "We tested here a couple of weeks ago and we picked up a lot. We kept tweaking and got better."
Caudill said both he and Almirola are starting in the perfect place today for what is always an action-filled race.
"Qualifying is everything in this race," said Caudill. "I don't care how good a car you've got, if you back in the pack and knock the fenders off or tear the nose off, it pretty much ends your day."
Almirola figures he just needs to keep an eye on the veteran in front of him.
"I'm just going to fall in behind Jamey and run there as much as I can on Sunday," said Almirola.
Recently-crowned NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series national champion Peyton Sellers of Danville will start sixth today, followed by Brad Brinkley, David Triplett Jr., Landreth, and Timothy Peters, another regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Last year's Bailey's 300 winner Tony McGuire will start 14th while former Martinsville winner Donnie Apple will go off in the 21st position.
The first 25-lap heat races takes the green flag today at 12:30 with the 200-lap main event starting at about 3 p.m.
Tickets for today's race are $20 for adults, $5 for children six to 12 and admission is free for children five and under.
The Martinsville Speedway ticket office will open at 8 a.m. today.