LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 9, 2000) -- On a day where it took a lap besting the old track record just to make the top 20 in qualifying, 1998 American Speed Association National Champion and current points leader Gary St. Amant captured his 21st career...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 9, 2000) -- On a day where it took a lap besting the old track record just to make the top 20 in qualifying, 1998 American Speed Association National Champion and current points leader Gary St. Amant captured his 21st career pole, turn ing a 14.761 sec. (106.822 mph) lap, besting the old track record held by Mike Eddy from 1994 by 0.685 seconds. Qualifying for Saturday's ASA ACDelco Series ACDelco Service Specialists 300 saw 37 cars best the old record, set when ASA last raced in Louisv ille.
"This one's for Larry," said St. Amant, dedicating his pole effort to Wynn's representative Larry Nuber, who passed away in his home earlier in the week.
"I had no idea we were going to go that fast," said Columbus, Ohio native St. Amant. "I was smooth all day during practice, but my qualifying run didn't feel that good. I was watching other guys on their runs. I just think I was able to get through turn four quicker."
Veteran ACDelco Series driver Rick Beebe, of Kansas, grabbed the second spot with a lap of 14.813 sec. (106.447 mph).
"I was as nervous as I have ever been before qualifying," said Beebe. "This is 100-percent a driver's race track. You have to have a good car, but the driver has to be smooth, yet on the edge."
The 1999 ASA Rookie of the Year Ricky Johnson, of North Carolina, grabbed the third spot, with veteran Michigan driver Butch Miller and second-year driver Tristan Dupuis rounding out the top five qualifiers. The top-20 qualifiers ran within 0.219 seconds o f each other.
Practice on the tough track proved costly for four competitors, each of which made heavy contact with the wall, several coming in treacherous turn four. One of those who made wall contact included rookie contender Johnny Sauter, which forced him to miss f irst round qualifying and come back in second round action.
Festivities for Saturday's ACDelco Service Specialists 300 begin at 6 p.m. with the exclusive on-track autograph session. Pre-race ceremonies get underway at 7:15 p.m. with the green flag dropping on the event at 8 p.m.