Winchester Speedway new qualifying format

Winchester 400 Brings New Qualifying Format for Competitors Event moves to three days, includes two qualifying races to set field PENDLETON, Ind. (September 6, 2001) -- The American Speed Association is returning to Winchester Speedway on ...

Winchester 400 Brings New Qualifying Format for Competitors
Event moves to three days, includes two qualifying races to set field

PENDLETON, Ind. (September 6, 2001) -- The American Speed Association is returning to Winchester Speedway on September 14-16 for the 32nd Annual Winchester 400. With it, 34 of the country's best short track stock car drivers will compete for 400 laps around the grueling, high-banked, half-mile for over $248,000. This season, the series debuts a new qualifying format, giving the already prestigious event even more mystique and fans more of the best short track racing action and excitement in the country.

The qualifying format for the 32nd running of one of the nation's oldest stock car events will be very similar to that of the Daytona 500. After three practice sessions on Friday, September 14, all entered cars will take two laps of timed qualifying. The t op two qualifiers will then be locked into the show, with the next 24 positions coming from two 125-laps qualifying races held on Saturday. The front row cars must start in the qualifying races.

All entered cars will compete in one of the two 125-lap qualifying races. The finishing order of the first will lock in the odd number starting positions from three on back, while the finishing order of the second 125-lap event will set the even number sta rting spots. The 125-lap qualifying races will each carry a purse of $25,750, including $4,000 going to each qualifying event winner.

The next four positions will come from the top cars still not qualified for the event in order of their standing in the 2001 Owner's Point Standings. The final four positions will come from the next fastest cars still not qualified for the event, based on Friday's qualifying times. There will be two optional provisional starters added to the field, based on criteria met in the 2001 ASA Official Rulebook.

"Obliviously, it will be key to try to qualify first or second," said Indiana native and Winchester veteran Tim Taylor. "It will be great for the fans though. It is a great idea. I would love to be a fan sitting in the stands to watch it all. That is a rou gh track to have to run that many races on all weekend long. It is a tough track on equipment and drivers. Patience will be the key though. You have 400 laps to improve your position on Sunday. As demanding as those 400 laps are, it may not be feasible to push your luck or equipment to win the qualifying races."

Activities at the track for the 2001 version of the Winchester 400 begin on September 14 with the first of three practice sessions and spectator gates opening at 11 a.m. (local). ASA two-lap qualifying goes off at 4 p.m. On September 15, spectator gates op en and the first practice session begins at 11 a.m. The first of the Twin 125-lap qualifying races goes green at 2:30 p.m. Race day begins with spectator gates opening at 9 a.m. followed by the on-track autograph session scheduled for 11 a.m. Pre-race cere monies are set for 12:15 p.m. and the start of the 32nd Annual Winchester 400 is scheduled for 1. The event will be telecast live on TNN Sports.

Tickets for the event are still available with general admission Friday tickets selling for $5 each and Saturday tickets selling for $15 each. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free with a paying adult on those two days. Tickets on race day ar e $25 each for reserved seats on the bottom four rows and $30 each for all other reserved seats. The only general admission on race day is for the infield at a cost of $20 per ticket. For additional information, call the ASA ticket line, (765) 778-2105 or toll-free, 1-888-ASA-1020.

-ASA-

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