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UpDated: March 17, 2002
2002 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series
29th Annual Spring Nationals
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, TX
Saturday, March 16, Feature Program #5
Qualifications 1. Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 14.290 2. Craig Dollansky, Karavan Racing 7, 14.527 3. Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 14.578 4. Jason Johnson, Row 41, 14.600 5. Johnny Herrera, Wilburn 2W, 14.650 6. P.J. Chesson, Chesson 76, 14.688 7. Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 14.702 8. Kraig Kinser, Kinser 11K, 14.780 9. Jac Haudenschild, Forbrook 5, 14.790 10. Stevie Smith, Helm 11H, 14.842 11. Gary Wright, Panell 9, 14.948 12. Matt Clevenger, Clevenger 31, 14.953 13. Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 14.976 14. Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 15.113 15. Brooke Tatnell, Grandstaff 66, 15.202 16. Zach Chappell, Chappell 50Z, 15.260 17. Ricky Logan, CRS Racing 3S, 15.277 18. Wayne Johnson, Threatt 29, 15.280 19. Mike Reinke, Gifford 17R, 15.384 20. Blake Mallory, Mallory 6M, 15.409 21. Marvin Lough, Willis 39, 15.429 22. Leonard Lee, Lee 16L, 15.496 23. Michael Dupuy, MIN Motorsports 4M, 15.562 24. Danny Wood, Parsons 6, 15.604 25. Darren Stewart, Stewart 9S, 15.715 26 Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 15.733 27 Bob Ewell, Ewell 85, 15.946 28 Justin Henderson, Carnahan R19, 16.125 29. Derrek Beckman, Cox 50D, 16.136 30.. Dan Oswalt, Oswalt D1, 16.470 31. Jan Howard, Benton/Cam 11J, 16.602 32. Keith Walker, Walker 52, 17.614
First O'Reilly Heat Race (eight laps) 1. Stevie Smith 2. Randy Hannagan 3. Danny Lasoski 4. Tim Shaffer 5. Jason Johnson 6. Zach Chappell 7. Leonard Lee 8. Mike Reinke 9. Justin Henderson 10. Darren Stewart 11. Keith Walker (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) Second O'Reilly Heat Race (eight laps) 1. Gary Wright 2. Johnny Herrera 3. Craig Dollansky 4. Ricky Logan 5. Terry McCarl 6. Michael Dupuy 7. Donny Schatz 8. Blake Mallory 9. Dan Oswalt 10. Kraig Kinser (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) Third O'Reilly Heat Race (eight laps) 1. Jac Haudenschild 2. Matt Clevenger 3. Joey Saldana 4. P.J. Chesson 5. Brooke Tatnell 6. Wayne Johnson 7. Danny Wood 8. Jan Howard 9. Marvin Lough 10. Bob Ewell (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
Finishing 1-4 in Friday’s Preliminary Feature qualified Brad Furr, Steve Kinser, Mark Kinser and Tyler Walker for the first four starting positions in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Dash
O’Reilly Auto Parts (five laps) 1. Steve Kinser 2. Tyler Walker 3. Craig Dollansky 4. Danny Lasoski 5. Joey Saldana 6. Jason Johnson 7. Mark Kinser 8. Brad Furr (finish determined the first eight starting positions in the "A" Feature)
B Feature (12 laps) 1. Zach Chappell 2. Kraig Kinser 3. Wayne Johnson 4. Blake Mallory 5. Michael Dupuy 6. Leonard Lee ($200) 7. Danny Wood 8. Darren Stewart ($150) 9. Donny Schatz 10. Justin Henderson ($100) 11. Jan Howard ($90) 12. Dan Oswalt ($60) 13. Marvin Lough ($50) 14. Keith Walker ($50) 15. Mike Reinke ($50) (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
A Feature (35 laps) 1. Joey Saldana ($12,000) 2. Craig Dollansky ($6,000) 3. Mark Kinser ($4,000) 4. Danny Lasoski ($3,500) 5. Johnny Herrera ($3,200) 6. Brad Furr ($2,100) 7. Jason Johnson ($3,000) 8. Tim Shaffer ($2,500) 9. P.J. Chesson ($2,100) 10. Jac Haudenschild ($2,050) 11. Randy Hannagan ($2,000) 12. Stevie Smith ($1,600) 13. Kraig Kinser ($1,520) 14. Gary Wright ($1,200) 15. Brooke Tatnell ($1,100) 16. Danny Wood ($1,020) 17. Matt Clevenger ($900) 18. Ricky Logan ($820) 19. Blake Mallory ($820) 20. Tyler Walker ($800) 21. Steve Kinser ($800) 22. Terry McCarl ($800) 23. Wayne Johnson ($820) 24. Zach Chappell ($820) 25. Michael Dupuy ($820) 26. Donny Schatz ($820) Provisional starters – Danny Wood, Donny Schatz Lap leaders: Steve Kinser 1-19, Tyler Walker 20-21, Joey Saldana 22-35
Miss Universe Lends a Hand
There are always plenty of the “beautiful people” in Las Vegas, but Saturday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the most beautiful of them all showed up.
Denise Quinones was in town for a promotion with Ken Schrader and his sponsor, M&Ms. You might not recognize that name, but you’ve probably heard of Miss Universe. M&Ms is launching a promotion to choose its next color for its candy – and the next color for Schrader’s car.
People can vote for one of three colors – purple, aqua and pink – beginning March 6. The winning color will be on Schrader’s car at the Bristol Motor Speedway night race on Aug. 24.
“I’m just glad that M&Ms is tying in the global color vote – which is the biggest promotion they’ve done in their history – to our Winston Cup car,” Schrader said.
Quinones, who is from Puerto Rico, said she eats M&Ms sometimes, but “not too often because I have to maintain myself.” Her color choice was aqua because “it reminds me of the water and beaches of Puerto Rico.”
Schrader had another idea.
“I’m not supposed to be pulling for a certain color, but, heck, (Dale) Earnhardt drove a damn old pink Ford. I guess I could drive a pink Pontiac,” Schrader said.
But Quinones said aqua would “probably better for Kenny.”
“You haven’t seen me in pink,” Schrader said.
“I haven’t seen you in aqua, either,” Quinones said.
“When are you leaving?” Schrader said.
The visit to LVMS was Quinones’ first exposure to Winston Cup racing.
“This is my first time,” Quinones said. “I really don’t know much about racing. I’m learning a little bit.”
Her reign began last May, so she only has three more months as Miss Universe. The first nine months have been a whirlwind, as she’s traveled across the world, doing a lot of charity events as a spokesperson in the fight against AIDS.
“It’s been crazy, but it’s been great,” Quinones said. “I’ve been to 14 different countries, I’ve done a lot of work for AIDS – that’s the main charity for Miss Universe. I’ve had a lot of fun.”
When her reign is over, Quinones hopes to sign a recording contract as a singer. Eventually, she wants to finish up her college degree in communications.
PENNZOIL WORLD OF OUTLAWS-LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Date of Race: 03/02/02
HEAT 1 8 Laps 1. Joey Saldana, 2. Tim Shaffer, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Randy Hannagan, 5. Bob Duncan, 6. Jayme Barnes, 7. Lawrence Edlund, 8. Toni Lutar, 9. Willey Hernandez, HEAT 2 8 Laps 1. Johnny Herrera, 2. Jac Haudenschild, 3. Danny Lasoski, 4. Peter Murphy, 5. Tommy Tarlton, 6. Jeff Hodgson, 7. Randy Waitman, 8. Doug Lippincott, HEAT 3 8 Laps 1. Brad Furr, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Craig Dollansky, 4. Calvin Landis, 5. Mike Faria, 6. Jim Carter, 7. Stephen Allard, 8. Paul Norbury, HEAT 4 8 Laps 1. Jason Meyers, 2. Danny Wood, 3. Brian Paulus, 4. Brian Coelho, 5. Ricky Logan, 6. Pat Bourke, 7. Jeremy Schaeffer, 8. Dan Oswalt,
O'REILLY AUTO PARTS DASH 5 Laps 1. Sammy Swindell. 2. Steve Kinser. 3. Mark Kinser. 4. Joey Saldana. 5. Daryn Pittman. 6. Johnny Herrera.
B FEATURE 12 Laps 1. Ricky Logan. 2. Mike Faria. 3. Tommy Tarlton. 4. Lawrence Edlund. 5. Stephen Allard. 6. Willey Hernandez. 7. Doug Lippincott. 8. Paul Norbury. 9. Pat Bourke. 10. Bob Duncan. 11. Randy Waitman. 12. Jeremy Schaeffer. 13. Toni Lutar. 14. Jeff Hodgson. 15. Jayme Barnes. 16. Jim Carter. 17. Dan Oswalt.
A FEATURE 30 Laps 1. Steve Kinser. 2. Joey Saldana. 3. Mark Kinser. 4. Stevie Smith. 5. Danny Lasoski. 6. Johnny Herrera. 7. Donny Schatz. 8. Jason Meyers. 9. Tim Shaffer. 10. Sammy Swindell. 11. Brian Paulus. 12. Craig Dollansky. 13. Randy Hannagan. 14. Brad Furr. 15. Danny Wood. 16. Calvin Landis. 17. Peter Murphy. 18. Brian Coelho. 19. Ricky Logan. 20. Mike Faria. 21. Jac Haudenschild. 22. Tommy Tarlton. 23. Daryn Pittman. 24. Lawrence Edlund. LAP LEADERS: SAMMY SWINDELL 1-4, STEVE KINSER 5-30
Tommy Tarlton changed engines after his heat race.
Jeremy Schaeffer spun in front of the leaders on lap 7 of the B-main, collecting Toni Lutar (2nd at the time) and Jeff Hodgson (4th at the time) who flipped in turn 4. No drivers were injured, and Lutar was able to restart.
Lap 1—Sammy Swindell got the jump off of turn 4 to take the lead. Stevie Smith took 5th from Tim Shaffer low in 1&2
Lap 2—Joey Saldana passed Steve Kinser for 2nd low in 1&2 , but Kinser was able to get the spot back low exiting turn 4
Lap 3-Tim Shaffer got 5th from Stevie Smith low in 1&2
Lap 5—Steve Kinser took the lead from Sammy Swindell low in 3&4
Lap 8—Traffic. Steve Kinser’s lead .5 second. Sammy Swindell nearly spun exiting turn 4, but saved the car without losing a position.
Lap 9—Steve Kinser’s lead 3.4 seconds
Lap 10—Mark Kinser went low in 3&4, but couldn’t take 3rd from Joey Saldana
Lap 11—Red flag for Daryn Pittman (7th at the time), who flipped in turn 2. Under the red, Sammy Swindell pitted to replace a flat left front tire, and restarted at the back of the pack
Lap 12—Johnny Herrera got 4th from Stevie Smith low in 3&4
Lap 13—Stevie Smith passed Herrera back for 4th on the top in 3&4
Lap 16—Traffic. Steve Kinser’s lead 1.9 seconds
Lap 17—Lapped cars Brian Coelho and Peter Murphy made contact in front of second place Joey Saldana, allowing Steve Kinser to develop a 4.2 second lead
Lap 25—Stevie Smith took 3rd from Mark Kinser low in 1&2, but Kinser got the position back on the top in 3&4
Lap 28—Danny Lasoski passed Johnny Herrera for 5th low in 3&4
Lap 30—Steve Kinser won by 64 seconds
Steve Kinser “We’ve been pretty good since the beginning of the year, pretty consistent, and tonight we hit it just right. Scott (Gerkin) and the guys did a great job all night, and it looks like they did a great job all winter. We got a pretty good run on Sammy there a couple laps in, and I think I found the bottom in 1&2 before he did. The car could run anywhere I put it: Low or high, it didn’t matter. We’ve gotten off to the right kind of start (to win a 17th Pennzoil World of Outlaws championship)—now we just have to keep up the pace.”
Rack 'em: Burton wins again in Las Vegas By Tim Packman, March 2, 2002
LAS VEGAS -- - Jeff Burton should be so fortunate at the casinos as he is on the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Burton, driver of the No. 9 Gain Ford, captured the checkered flag for the second time in the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Counting his two Winston Cup Series victories here, Burton now has four victories at the 1.5-mile track. The victory also makes him the first driver to win two Busch Series races at Las Vegas.
Starting from the pole, Burton led six times for 149 laps of the 200-lap race and beat runner-up finisher Michael Waltrip by over eight seconds.
The only thing that could've stopped Burton -- it seemed -- was rookie Scott Riggs. Riggs was leading when his battery failed on lap 135. He finished 34th, 15 laps down.
"I am really proud," Burton said. "Brad Parrott (crew chief) has come in and done a great job. We're really organized and we have nice, new race cars.
"We kind of revamped this program and brought some new life to it and I'm just so proud of it because this thing deserves to be right where it is - in Victory Lane."
During a mid-race pit stop, Burton's team was slower then usual and that forced Burton to make up about 10 spots to regain the lead.
"(Riggs) was pretty fast and that was the worst we were all day," Burton said. "We were really tight. I didn't really push anything that hard. He was running really hard and I knew there were a lot of laps left.
"We were kind of biding our time. He was going to be hard, though. He was real fast."
Waltrip was also the victim of a bad stop and had to battle back from a lap down.
The bad stop was the result of a problem air gun on the right-front tire. Waltrip was still thankful for the second-place finish, but wished things would have played out differently at the end.
"I really wish there would have been a caution there at the end," Waltrip said. "I wanted to get up there and mix it up with five laps to go so that big crowd up there would have something to cheer about.
"I'm just real disappointed we didn't get in Victory Lane. We kind of joke about the fact we build these cars behind my house and can compete with the best of them like that. It gives us a lot of pride.
"We did the same thing at Daytona by losing a lap and making it up to finish second. This is very rewarding because this is a difficult track for me personally."
Another driver reaping the rewards of good finishes is rookie driver Johnny Sauter. He wheeled the No. 2 ACDelco Chevy to his first top-five finish this year with his third place finish.
"This is a really good team to begin with," Sauter said. "We made all the right calls in the pits today. Our chassis wasn't exactly right, but we kept working on it and came away with a top five."
Rounding out the top 10 were Kevin Lepage, Jeff Green, Jack Sprague, Randy LaJoie, Kenny Wallace, Greg Biffle and Stacy Compton.
There were 16 lead changes among 11 drivers. The length of race was two hours and 25 minutes. Five caution flags flew for 31 laps.
Jack Sprague took over the points lead with a sixth-place finish. Jason Keller, points leader coming into the race, had a 22nd-place finish and dropped to third.
The series is off next weekend and returns to action at Darlington Raceway on Sat., March 16.
PENNZOIL WORLD OF OUTLAWS-LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA Date of Race: 03/01/02
TIME TRIALS 1. Mark Kinser, Oolitic IN, Kinser 5M , 14.308 2. Sammy Swindell, Germantown TN, Roth Mtrsports 83JR, 14.413 3. Steve Kinser, Bloomington IN, Kinser 11 , 14.476 4. Joey Saldana, Brownsburg IN, Saldana Racing 17 , 14.549 5. Danny Wood, Norman OK, Parsons 6 , 14.740 6. Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque NM, Wilburn 2W , 14.752 7. Daryn Pittman, Owasso OK, Woodburn 21 , 14.777 8. Donny Schatz, Fargo ND, Schatz 15 , 14.808 9. Brad Furr, Pleasonton CA.,Furr Racing 2 , 14.828 10. Brian Paulus, Mechanicsburg PA, P&P Mtrsprts 28 , 14.848 11. Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa PA, Roth Mtrsprts 83 , 14.895 12. Stevie Smith, New Oxford PA, Helm Racing 1H , 14.953 13. Mike Faria, Tipton CA, Faria 4 , 14.971 14. Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro IN, THR Racing 1X , 14.987 15. Jason Meyers, Clovis CA, Carter/ 14 , 14.992 16. Jac Haudenschild, Wooster OH, Forbrook Mtrspr 5 , 15.056 17. Brian Coelho, Tulare CA, Coelho 5C , 15.119 18. Danny Lasoski, Dover MO, Stewart Mtrsprt 20 , 15.127 19. Peter Murphy, Fresno CA, Williams 0 , 15.144 20. Craig Dollansky, Elk River MN, Karavan Racing 7 , 15.159 21. Calvin Landis, Phoenix AZ, Landis 70 , 15.227 22. Ricky Logan, Little Rock AR, HAMS Mtrsprts 3S , 15.257 23. Jim Carter, Cloverdale BC CN, Rudeen 14C , 15.373 24. Toni Lutar, White Rock BC CN, Lutar 4X , 15.421 25. Tommy Tarlton, Fresno CA, Tarlton&Sons 21T , 15.501 26. Pat Bourke, Edwards CO, B&B Excavating 27B , 15.610 27. Stephen Allard, Chico CA, Allard 1MA, 15.698 28. Jeff Hodgson, Edmonton ALB CN, Hodgson V8 , 15.738 29. Lawrence Edlund, Caruthers CA, Edlund 1 , 15.942 30. Jayme Barnes, Everett WA, Dewitt 9 , 16.017 31. Dan Oswalt, Iola KS, Oswalt. D1 , 16.093 32. Randy Waitman, Ramona CA, Waitman 69 , 16.851 33. Willey Hernandez, Red Log MT, Hernandez 1M , 16.943 34. Doug Lippincott, Minden NV, Lippincott Racg 4L , 17.033 35. Paul Norbury, Prescott Valley AZ, Carston 91 , 17.132 36. Bob Duncan, Abbotsford BC CN, Duncan 3B , 17.874 37. Jeremy Schaeffer, Gypsum CO, Schaeffer 47 , 18.656 HEAT 1 8 Laps 1. Calvin Landis, 2. Brad Furr, 3. Mark Kinser, 4. Danny Wood, 5. Brian Coelho, 6. Mike Faria, 7. Lawrence Edlund, 8. Tommy Tarlton, 9. Willey Hernandez, 10. Jeremy Schaeffer, HEAT 2 8 Laps 1. Ricky Logan, 2. Danny Lasoski, 3. Brian Paulus, 4. Randy Hannagan, 5. Sammy Swindell, 6. Johnny Herrera, 7. Jayme Barnes, 8. Pat Bourke, 9. Doug Lippincott, HEAT 3 8 Laps 1. Jason Meyers, 2. Jim Carter, 3. Daryn Pittman, 4. Peter Murphy, 5. Steve Kinser, 6. Tim Shaffer, 7. Stephen Allard, 8. Dan Oswalt, 9. Paul Norbury, HEAT 4 8 Laps 1. Craig Dollansky, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Joey Saldana, 5. Jac Haudenschild, 6. Toni Lutar, 7. Randy Waitman, 8. Bob Duncan, 9. Jeff Hodgson,
O'REILLY AUTO PARTS DASH 1 5 Laps 1. Mark Kinser. 2. Steve Kinser. 3. Danny Wood. 4. Donny Schatz. 5. Danny Lasoski. 6. Randy Hannagan. 7. Jac Haudenschild. 8. Brian Paulus.
O'REILLY AUTO PARTS DASH 2 5 Laps 1. Sammy Swindell. 2. Brad Furr. 3. Joey Saldana. 4. Jason Meyers. 5. Stevie Smith. 6. Daryn Pittman. 7. Peter Murphy. 8. Brian Coelho.
B FEATURE 12 Laps 1. Tim Shaffer. 2. Johnny Herrera. 3. Tommy Tarlton. 4. Toni Lutar. 5. Mike Faria. 6. Jayme Barnes. 7. Doug Lippincott. 8. Lawrence Edlund. 9. Pat Bourke. 10. Dan Oswalt. 11. Willey Hernandez. 12. Randy Waitman. 13. Paul Norbury. 14. Bob Duncan. 15. Jeremy Schaeffer. 16. Jeff Hodgson. 17. Stephen Allard.
A FEATURE 25 Laps 1. Mark Kinser. 2. Sammy Swindell. 3. Steve Kinser. 4. Stevie Smith. 5. Jason Meyers. 6. Danny Lasoski. 7. Tim Shaffer. 8. Joey Saldana. 9. Johnny Herrera. 10. Daryn Pittman. 11. Donny Schatz. 12. Randy Hannagan. 13. Danny Wood. 14. Jac Haudenschild. 15. Brad Furr. 16. Brian Paulus. 17. Craig Dollansky. 18. Peter Murphy. 19. Toni Lutar. 20. Brian Coelho. 21. Ricky Logan. 22. Tommy Tarlton. 23. Calvin Landis. 24. Jim Carter. LAPS LEADER: MARK KINSER 1-25
Mark Kinser’s crew changed a rocker arm after his heat race.
Lap 1—Mark Kinser got the jump off of turn 4 to take the lead. Steve Kinser went to the top in 3&4, but couldn’t take 2nd from Sammy Swindell. With one lap complete, caution for Donny Schatz (6th at the time), who spun in turn 2.
Lap 3—Danny Lasoski took 5th from Danny Wood low entering turn 1
Lap4—Jason Meyers got by Danny Wood for 6th on the top exiting turn 4
Lap 7—Traffic. Mark Kinser’s lead 1.3 seconds. Jason Meyers took 5th from Danny Lasoski on the top in 1&2
Lap 10—Mark Kinser’s lead 1 second
Lap 11—Stevie Smith passed Joey Saldana for 5th on the top on the backstretch
Lap 12—Danny Lasoski passed Joey Saldana for 6th low in 1&2
Lap 13—Stevie Smith took 4th from Jason Meyers on the top in 3&4
Lap 15—Caution for Donny Schatz, who again spun in turn 2 (Schatz was 14th at the time)
Lap 16—Stevie Smith took 3rd from Steve Kinser on the top in 3&4
Lap 17—Joey Saldana got 6th from Danny Lasoski on the top in 3&4
Lap 18—Stevie Smith passed Sammy Swindell for 2nd on the top in 3&4
Lap 20—Traffic. Mark Kinser’s lead 6.3 sconds
Lap 22—Sammy Swindell took 2nd back from Stevie Smith low exiting turn 2
Lap 23—Steve Kinser passed Stevie Smith for 3rd low exiting turn 2. Kinser then went low in 3&4, pulled even with Sammy Swindell, but couldn’t take 2nd
Lap 25—Mark Kinser won by 1.9 seconds
“Anybody that doesn’t like Las Vegas doesn’t know how to have fun. Actually, I’ve got a pretty bad cold this week, but once you get in the car you completely block that stuff out. I’m a notoriously slow starter—I think we went a month last year before I won my first race. It’s nice to get a win this early, and get my confidence and help the crew keep theirs up. Those guys work so hard out here, and when you’re not winning races, you’re letting them down. Last night we were just a victim of circumstance. The inside was the place to start tonight, and we had it all night long. I knew we were a top 5 car tonight, but lapped traffic can make you or break you. When things are going your way, you hate to see caution flag, especially with guys like Sammy and Steve behind you. Luckily we were able to pull it off tonight.”
Burton Makes Big Busch Gain by Lee Montgomery
LAS VEGAS – The dice came up nine during Friday’s NASCAR Busch Series qualifying.
Jeff Burton continued his supremacy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, putting the No. 9 Roush Racing Ford on the pole for Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300.
Burton’s lap of 169.168 mph edged Jimmy Spencer for the top spot, earning Burton his first pole at the 1.5-mile track north of the “City of Lights.” It’s perhaps fitting, for Burton’s gaudy neon orange and green paint scheme seems to fit well with the bright lights and neon of Las Vegas.
Spencer’s lap was 169.051 mph.
Casey Mears, the Busch Series rookie who was fastest in Friday’s lone practice, ended up third. Jeff Green was fourth, with rookie Scott Riggs fifth. Stacy Compton qualified sixth, followed by Mike McLaughlin, Michael Waltrip, Ricky Hendrick and Joe Nemechek.
In addition to Burton, Spencer, Compton, Waltrip and Nemechek, several other Winston Cup drivers made the Busch race. Kenny Wallace was 12th, with last week’s Winston Cup winner Matt Kenseth 15th, Mike Wallace 28th and Ken Schrader 29th.
Burton has an enviable record at LVMS in both the Busch Series and in Winston Cup. In four Busch starts, he has one victory (in 2000) and four top-10 finishes. In four Winston Cup starts, he has two victories and three Top 10s.
Las Vegas is the first Busch race of the season for Burton, who skipped the races at Daytona and Rockingham.
Burton’s Busch Series pole could be the sign of another good weekend at Las Vegas. He’s one of five drivers eligible for Winston’s No Bull 5 $1 million bonus, which he collected here two years ago after winning the Winston Cup race.
Jason Keller, who won last week’s race at North Carolina Speedway and leads the Busch Series points, ended up 20th at Las Vegas.
Keller obviously carries some positive momentum to Las Vegas.
“Not only is the city fun to visit, but I love the track,” Keller said. “You can race anywhere on the track, so it makes the racing exciting for me as a driver as well as the fans. We finished third last year, but that was after a disappointing qualifying effort.”
Bodine Rolls to Vegas Pole by Lee Montgomery
LAS VEGAS – Attention shoppers, there’s a fast car that needs a sponsor flying though Turn 4. Zoom! It speeds past the finish line, the fastest of them all Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
There weren’t any blue lights in sight, but there was a blue blur.
Todd Bodine was driving the logo-less blue No. 66, and he drove it well around the 1.5-mile oval, winning the pole for Sunday’s UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.
The smile on Bodine’s face, though, was tempered by the realization that his team might not be around much longer. The lack of a sponsor has caught up with Haas-Carter Motorsports.
“The reality if what is going on, we’re going to have to face it Monday,” Bodine said. “Nobody wants to, it’s not pretty picture, but we have got to face what the reality is. We as a team cannot expect Travis (Carter) and Carl (Haas) to spend their savings to keep us running.
“We know the end is going to come if we don’t get sponsorship.”
The pole can only help Haas-Carter Motorsports in its search for primary sponsorship for its two-car team of Bodine and Joe Nemechek. Kmart, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, left the team after last week’s race at North Carolina Speedway.
The move was so sudden that the team hasn’t had time to strip the Kmart logos off its transporters, but the cars were barren this weekend.
Bodine’s car wasn’t missing speed, though, as he edged rookie Ryan Newman by .002 seconds. Bodine’s lap was an LVMS track record 172.850 mph, while Newman’s was 172.839.
“We wanted to come here without a sponsor,” Bodine said. “We wanted to be on TV without a sponsor. We wanted to show people we needed sponsorship. There’s no better way to show that we’ve got a good race team than by getting on the pole, that’s for sure.”
Kurt Busch continued his strong surge early in 2002 by qualifying third on his home track, making it a 1-2-3 sweep for Ford. Jimmy Spencer had his best qualifying effort with Chip Ganassi Racing by posting the fourth-fastest lap, while Michael Waltrip was a solid fifth.
Mark Martin was sixth, with Johnny Benson seventh, Rockingham winner Matt Kenseth eighth, Ricky Craven ninth and Dave Blaney 10th.
But how much help? Is it too late? Has the Popsicle melted?
“We’re going to decide on Monday whether we’re going to Atlanta,” Bodine said. “To be quite blunt, I don’t think we’re gonna be going to Atlanta.”
Bodine said the team probably wouldn’t go to Atlanta Motor Speedway next week, and there’s a possibility the team could close its doors come Monday.
“We’re talking to people,” Bodine said. “This the wrong time of the year to be trying to get any money because budgets are already set. It’s almost impossible to do it right now. We’ve had some interest from companies that can pull from other areas of their budget, but it takes a lot of people within those companies to make a decision. Nothing’s going to happen in the next four or five days. Prospects don’t look good.”
Kenseth was the only Winston No Bull 5 driver to make the Top 10. The other drivers eligible for the $1 million bonus should they win Sunday were Tony Stewart in 15th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 35th, Jeff Burton in 39th and Bobby Hamilton 44th.
Both Burton and Hamilton took provisionals, as did two-time LVMS pole winner Dale Jarrett, who was only 37th fastest. Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton was 32nd, defending Winston Cup champion and defending race winner Jeff Gordon 13th.
The other provisionals went to Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte, Casey Atwood and Rick Mast. Derrike Cope was the only driver not to make the race.
Newman, the Purdue engineering graduate, knew how close he came to winning his second career pole.
“It was probably about 4 inches at the start-finish line,” Newman said. “In my first ARCA with Penske, Shawna Robinson beat me for the pole at Michigan by seven-thousandths. We figured that was about 17 inches. It was definitely close, but it was a great run for this team.”
Busch was fastest in Friday’s practice, but he was still smiling despite coming up short in his bid to win his second career pole.
“It was good, it was just not enough to get the pole,” said Busch, who qualified first in the Southern 500 last September. “But we gave the Vegas fans a great thrill. It was great to put up that type of lap. If we will put ourselves sin that position a few more times throughout the year, we know we’ll get a pole. I know that (with crew chief) Jimmy Fennig, his experience is going to lead us to a few wins this year.”
Hornish Doesn’t Miss a Beat by Brian Moore
Sam Hornish Jr. is still on a tremendous roll.
Hornish won three races, including the season finale, on his way to the Indy Racing League title last season, and he continued his torrid pace at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday by winning the pole for the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami with a fast qualifying lap of 202.884 mph in Panther Racing’s No. 4 Dallara-Chevy.
“We actually thought we could be a little bit quicker than that,” Hornish said. “We didn't know how much the wind was going to change. The wind picked up a little bit from this morning. It's pretty much from the same direction, so we knew what to do there. We've been very happy with our car.”
Hornish’s pole-winning speed was more than 1 mph faster than Jeff Ward’s run last year for the pole. In all, three drivers topped Ward’s track record, including Helio Castroneves, who was second at 202.414 mph in Penske Racing’s No. 3 Dallara-Chevy, and rookie Tomas Scheckter, who was third at 201.868 mph in Red Bull Cheever Racing’s No. 52 Dallara-Infiniti.
“I was flat out,” said Castroneves, last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner. “The weather was tough on everyone today, so considering the wind, I'm happy with how Marlboro Team Penske did today. Tomorrow is the day that counts, so we'll have to be patient and run a good race. I think we're in good shape so far.”
Eddie Cheever Jr. at 201.432 mph in his No. 52 Dallara-Infiniti and Jaques Lazier at 201.391 mph in Team Menard’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevy rounded out the Top 5.
Sixth was two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran at 201.373 mph in Penske Racing’s No. 6 Dallara-Chevy, giving the powerful Penske team a good start to its IRL campaign.
“I gave it everything I had today,” de Ferran said. “I nailed it the whole way around. The wind made the car move around quite a bit, but that was the same thing we faced this morning.”
The Infiniti camp also showed well, with Scheckter and Cheever in the Top 5, and Robbie Buhl seventh at 200.989 mph in Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s No. 24 G Force-Infiniti and rookie Laurent Redon ninth at 199.404 mph in Conquest Racing’s No. 34 Dallara-Infiniti.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Billy Boat in eighth with a lap of 199.436 mph in the Curb-Agajanian-Boat Indy Racing No. 98 Dallara-Chevy and Jeff Ward 10th at 199.393 mph in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 9 G Force-Chevy.
Hornish, however, shook off the challenges from new teams and old, rookies and veterans to claim his first career pole. (He started first twice last season after being awarded the pole based on owner points after qualifying was rained out.)
He won at Homestead last season, giving him victories in the first two races last season. He closed out his championship-winning season with a win at the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway in a photo finish, his 11th top-five finish of the season.
And, he shows no signs of slowing down. That could make for a long day for the other 25 drivers.
Airton Dare will be one of Hornish's challengers. He qualified Donnie Beechler's No. 14 car in the 21st position. Beechler was taken to nearby Jackson Memorial Hospital after crashing in practice. He was awake and alert, but he will not race Saturday.
“It’s unfortunate what happened with Beechler,” Dare said. “I don’t like that it happened under those circumstances. At the same time, they needed somebody to put in the car, and I’m here. It’s a great thing for me.”
Beechler was admitted to the hospital for overnight observation. Dr. Henry Bock, the IRL medical director, said Beechler suffered a concussion, meaning under IRL rules he will not be able to race Saturday.
The Top 23 drivers in qualifying were separated by less than a second. Qualifying was delayed almost 2½ hours because of a practice crash that claimed the life of Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series driver Jeff Clinton. That series also is competing at the track this weekend.
Lasoski Dealt Success at Vegas by Brian Moore
The last time Danny “The Dude” Lasoski was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s dirt track, he was being crowned champion of the World of Outlaws.
Thursday night, Lasoski returns to the scene of his coronation for the first night of a three-night stand at LVMS for the Silver State Shootout. And things haven’t changed much since last season’s season finale at the track on Nov. 3.
Lasoski is first in the WoO points standings after two events. He easily won the season-opener at King’s Speedway in Hanford, Calif., leading all 30 laps of the race after starting from the pole.
Besides winning the championship at Las Vegas with a ninth-place finish, Lasoski also is the defending champion of the Silver State Shootout. He led all 30 laps of the main event last season to take home the win.
“Las Vegas has been pretty good to us,” Lasoski said. “We've always had success here.”
He’ll need to have more success to stay out front in the points. Steve “The King” Kinser is two points out of first after finishes of third and second in the first two races of the season. Kinser’s cousin Mark is third, 10 points behind Lasoski.
Lasoski isn’t worrying about the points battle just yet, though.
“There really is no pressure,” Lasoski said. “We are going to give it 110 percent every night and hope for the best.”
Last week, Lasoski took part in a test session at LVMS’ .375-mile oval and came away impressed with how the track held up over the offseason.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” he said. “I was surprised how smooth and fast the track was.”
Lasoski’s owner, Tony Stewart, will be in town this week, as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series is competing at Las Vegas on the 1.5-mile oval.
Silver State Shootout Night 1 Results
1. Johnny Herrera 2. Sammy Swindell 3. Daryn Pittman 4. Steve Kinser 5. Jac Haudenschild 6. Joey Saldana 7. Tim Shaffer 8. Brad Furr 9. Randy Hannagan 10. Stevie Smith11. Danny Wood 12. Jason Meyers 13. Mark Kinser 14. Peter Murphy 15. Tommy Tarlton 16. Ricky Logan 17. Toni Lutar 18. Calvin Landis 19. Craig Dollansky 20. Danny Lasoski 21. Jeff Hodgson 22. Jayme Barnes 23. Brian Paulus 24. Donny Schatz Lap leaders: Dollansky, 1-21; Herrera, 22-25.
Herrera Crashes Vegas Party by Brian Moore
Last season, Danny Lasoski made a splash in the World of Outlaws Series when he won the championship with a first-year team owned by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart.
Thursday night, Johnny Herrera surprised the WoO field with a win in the opening-night race of the three-night Silver State Shootout at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s dirt track with a team owned by Winston Cup crew chief Billy Wilburn.
“After the year I had last year, I owe a lot to Billy Wilburn - he gave me a chance, and all the hard work we did in the last month paid off tonight,” said Herrera, who finished 17th in the standings last season.
Herrera earned his unlikely win after frontrunners Craig Dollansky, defending race and title winner Lasoski and Mark Kinser were involved in an accident four laps from the end of the 25-lap race on the .375-mile dirt oval.
It began when leader Dollansky tried to squeeze between the lapped cars of Jayme Barnes and Tommy Tarlton. He made it through the gap on the exit of Turn 4, but as he entered Turn 1, Dollansky spun into the path of second-place Lasoski, fourth-place Kinser and the lapped car of Barnes. Dollansky flipped wildly but was unhurt. Only Kinser was able to continue to race.
Herrera, running third at the time, inherited the lead.
“Craig was better than both of us (Herrera and Lasoski) with an open track, but he wasn't as good in traffic, and it gave us a chance to run him down,” Herrera said. “Lady Luck was on our side tonight, and we just happened to be in he right place at the right time when all that stuff went down in Turn 1.”
Herrera went on to win by 1.2 seconds over Sammy Swindell, Daryn Pittman, Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild.
Although Herrera and Wilburn have reaffirmed that the combination of Winston Cup and WoO talent works, they are not likely to follow in the footsteps of Stewart and Lasoski. That’s because Herrera and Wilburn will not be able to race the full season, Wilburn said.
“We were hoping to put something together to run the whole season, but some things fell through, and we're going to do what we can and run about 50 races with the Outlaws this year,” said Wilburn, Rusty Wallace’s crew chief in the Winston Cup Series.
Other winners on Thursday night were Brad Furr, Danny Wood, Joey Saldana and Kinser in the heat races; Brian Paulus and Dollansky in the O’Reilly Dash races; and Ricky Logan in the B feature.
The Outlaws return to action Friday and Saturday night at LVMS.
Osborne Leaves Mopar Team by Glyn Williams
According to media reports, NHRA Pro Stock Mark Osborne has left the David Nickens-owned Mopar Parts team effective immediately.
Osborne, who finished seventh in the 2001 Pro Stock standings with four final-round appearances and a win at the Southwest Nationals, said he was leaving the team for personal reasons, namely to spend more time with the family’s mining business.
Nickens said the team will begin a full search for a new driver and hopes to have someone in the Dodge Neon R/T by March 14, in time for the Mac Tools Gatornationals.
Osborne, an 11-year pro in NHRA competition, joined the Mopar camp in 2001 and raced to one win in four final-round appearances. He finished the season No. 7 in the points standings.
This year Osborne has qualified for both national events, in the No. 3 and the No. 10 positions, but has been distracted on race day, losing both times in the first round with forgettable .593- and .524-second reaction times.
Mopar teammate Darrell Alderman has not fared much better this season, and has qualified ninth and 11th in the first two events with a pair of first-round losses. Last season Alderman failed to qualify for six events, with three runner-up finishes and eight first-round losses.
The team is rumored to have been looking for new drivers for quite some time, and Nickens’ son Bo Nickens is a possible candidate, though he has failed to qualify for nine of the 10 events he has entered over the past two years.
Sprague’s Desert Oasis by Shawn A. Akers
Jack Sprague says to forget the fact he has never finished lower than second in any race he’s participated in at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
That doesn’t necessarily give him an advantage this weekend when the NASCAR Busch Series takes to the 1.5-mile desert track for the Sam’s Town 300. All of Sprague’s previous experience at LVMS, which includes victories in 1996 and 1998, has come in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
“The biggest struggle we have right now is that we don’t have any notes to go off of,” said Sprague, who, in essence, is running his first full-time effort in the Busch Series since 1993. “We’ve got nothing to go back on with what we ran last year. What we’re doing is we’re really just building a notebook as we go.
“Sure, we’re taking a lot from the truck because that’s all we have to go off of right now. We’ve tested the car at Vegas and we were pretty happy with the test. Drivingwise, it’s a race vehicle, and there’s not that big of a difference. But with the truck, Dennis and I would know that if it was tight in the middle, we could do this and we could do that to help the truck.
“Those little things won’t help the car at all. The aerodynamics are so much different. We still have to figure out what the car wants. And that’s going to take a little bit of time. Still, we’re not too bad right now.”
Indeed. In his first two Busch Series races in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy this season, Sprague has finished seventh at Daytona and sixth at Rockingham. He’s in third place in the standings, 44 points behind leader Jason Keller.
But even though he doesn’t have any Busch Series experience at Las Vegas, Sprague has to be considered among the favorites to take the checkered flag there.
Sprague won the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series event at Las Vegas in 1996. He then finished second there in 1997, won the 1998 race in a thrilling finish with Ron Hornaday and finished second in both 1999 and 2001 (there was no race at LVMS in 2000).
“I don’t know, it’s just one of those places where we’ve run exceptionally well,” Sprague said. “During the test, I was really happy with the car, but unfortunately, that was the car we ran at Rockingham that Scott (Riggs) tore up pretty good, so we’re not able to take that car out there. We’ve got another new car, which should be just as good, but you never know.
“I like the race track and I love racing there, but Biffle is awfully good there, and several other guys are good there, too. Biffle has won there. It is as good as shot as any that we’ve had so far to win, though. It all depends on how quickly we figure it out.”
Speaking of Biffle, last year’s Busch Series Rookie of the Year has indeed been to victory lane at Las Vegas, in the CTS event in 1999. He’s never finished lower than fifth at LVMS, including a second-place finish behind Todd Bodine in last year’s Busch Series race.
In addition, Biffle’s team has a great deal of previous track notes to draw on. Mark Martin, who previously drove the No. 60 Roush Racing Ford, won at Las Vegas in 1999, and his Roush Racing teammate, Jeff Burton, won the 2000 Busch Series race there.
“Vegas is a great track to compete on because it challenges the driver and team to come up with a setup that will handle around the relatively flat corners,” Biffle said. “There is some banking, but nothing like Charlotte, Texas or Atlanta, which are its sister tracks. I’m a big fan of the 1.5-mile ovals because they seem to suit my driving style, but I especially like Vegas because it requires a little more finesse.
“At speedways with high banks, you can barrel down into the corner, let up on the throttle briefly and then get right back into it; that is if you car is handling well. At Vegas, you can’t just go hauling in there and expect to come out. You’ve really got to work the throttle in the corners, which brings the driver out in you. Vegas is also cool because there are so many different driving lines. If your car isn’t working in one place, you can move around and find a place where it does. It’s not uncomfortable to go three-wide in the corners, and you'll see a lot of that throughout the day. I would have to say it's one of the best shows of the year.”
Biffle and his team also tested at Las Vegas, and were pleased with the results.
“We focused strictly on the race setup during the test because it was just too cold to get a good qualifying run in. The car ran really well on short and long runs, so we're pretty optimistic about our chances this weekend. We’ll throw a few things at the car during practice on Friday before qualifying, and then we’ll get her ready to go racing on Saturday.”
Keller’s team continues to improve on the bigger tracks, and it showed last season as the No. 57 Albertson’s Ford finished third at Las Vegas. Keller intends to maintain the strong head of steam he gained after winning at Rockingham last weekend.
“I can’t wait to get to Las Vegas,” Keller said. “Not only is the city fun to visit, but I love the track. You can race anywhere on the track, so it makes the racing exciting for me as a driver as well as the fans. We finished third last year, but that was after a disappointing qualifying effort. We’ve really concentrated on that aspect of our program, and have seen the improvements in the first two races. We are coming off an exciting weekend and hope to carry that momentum to Las Vegas.”
Qualifying for Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 is set to get under way at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. The green flag is scheduled to drop on the race shortly after 4 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Matt Kenseth holds the Busch Series qualifying record at Las Vegas at 169.385 mph.
Kenseth Now Has Hot Hand by Lee Montgomery
LAS VEGAS - When Matt Kenseth won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race, many figured he’d continue wheeling his Roush Racing Ford into victory lane after victory lane.
But a not so funny thing happened after Kenseth won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2000. He didn’t win. Yes, he had some good runs in 2000, beating Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Rookie of the Year title.
But he still didn’t win again. And last year, Kenseth really never came close to winning. There were whispers of Kenseth leaving Roush Racing, and there generally weren’t many happy moments.
The losing streak reached 59 after the Daytona 500. That all ended, though, when Kenseth scored a controversial victory in the Subway 400 last week at North Carolina Speedway.
Now, as the Winston Cup teams prepare for qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, Kenseth hopes to make sure he doesn’t go 59 races again before winning. Signs indicate he won’t.
“I really like to race on tracks like Vegas and Atlanta (site of next weekend’s race),” Kenseth said. “We’ve run pretty good at those places and would hope to keep that momentum going. With the win at Rockingham behind us, we can focus on winning more races and staying competitive week in and week out.”
Qualifying for the UAW-DiamlerChrysler 400 is set for 5:05 p.m. ET Friday. Las Vegas is on Pacific Coast time, which is three hours behind folks on the East coast. Getting used to the later time won’t be much of an adjustment, for drivers and teams seem to love Las Vegas.
The track is 1.5 miles long, and when the track was built in 1996, it was the first of what many call “cookie-cutter” tracks because of its length and D-shape. Tracks in Chicago and Kansas City are close to the same shape, though International Speedway Corp. owns those, while Speedway Motorsports owns Las Vegas – buying it from Ralph Englestead and Bill Bennett.
Las Vegas is smooth, wide and fast, and drivers always have good things to say about the track. Dale Jarrett is the defending pole winner, with Jeff Gordon the defending race winner.
Kenseth hasn’t exactly set the world on fire there. He’s started 21st and 22nd in his two races at Las Vegas, finishing 14th in 2000 and 17th last year. But a test in January has Kenseth hoping for more.
“We had a pretty good test out in Vegas at the end of January,” Kenseth said. “We took two cars out there, and then decided to take one of our newest cars that we ran in Homestead. We just ran laps in race trim and we were really satisfied with the results. Testing at Vegas is good because it’s like a cookie-cutter type of track. We can use the information from the test there to take to other similar tracks like Chicago and maybe even Kansas.”
But first, there’s Las Vegas.
“I think our chances are OK,” Kenseth said. “I feel like when we tested out there our car drove a lot like it did (at Rockingham). It was really fast on new tires. We didn’t work on qualifying at all, but in race trim we’d run really fast on new tires for 15 or 20 laps. We need to work on long runs, but I feel real good about it. We have a car we built last year that performed really well for us at the end of the year, and that’s the car we’re gonna bring back.”
Kenseth did have a solid end to the 2001 season, positing three fourth-place finishes in the final six races. Coupled with the victory at Rockingham, he’s on a bit of a roll.
It’s always good to be on a roll going to Las Vegas, especially for Kenseth this weekend. He’s one of five drivers eligible to win Winston’s No Bull 5 $1 million bonus if he wins Sunday. Also, a fan paired with Kenseth could win a million bucks, too.
“I wish (Rockingham) week would have been the million, but I’m looking forward to going to Vegas,” Kenseth said. “It’s a great thing Winston and RJ Reynolds do for this sport, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun to give a fan a chance to win that money.”
Money was on the team’s mind this week after crew chief Robbie Reiser was fined $30,000 for a car that was ¼-inch too low after the race. That and a controversial decision by NASCAR to not display the red flag with five laps to go has somewhat clouded Kenseth’s victory, but the team still got to celebrate its victory.
And it should have celebrated, for it was a team effort. The pit crew made 10 stops, seven of which were under 15 seconds for four tires and fuel.
“You can’t say too much about Robbie Reiser and the great job the pit crew did,” car owner Jack Roush said. “When Matt was out front, they kept him out front. If he was a position or two back, coming down pit road, they put him out front again. When you think about people that have won their championships in the last decade, pit crew performance the like of which Robbie and the guys brought to the team is essential, and that certainly bodes well for what we’ll be able to do with them the rest of the year.”
Reiser echoed his boss’ sentiments.
“I’m really proud of this team for the effort put forth last Sunday,” Reiser said. “They were just so efficient in the pits. We work hard on pit stops, and even though we hold the championship crew title, that does not mean we can let ourselves slack in the pits. We are in this business to run competitively every week, and winning races shows we can be there at the end. We are going to be just as competitive at Vegas.”
And maybe the losing streak won’t reach 59 races again.
Worsham Denies Force Big Win by Glyn Williams
If the NHRA Funny Car final eliminations were played in the style of schoolyard basketball, Del Worsham would do some serious trash talking that he denied “the great” John Force his 100th career event win.
Instead, the mild-mannered California native will have to settle for boasting that he delivered his sponsor to the podium in its home title event, the Checker Schuck’s Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. Tony Schumacher also upset Larry Dixon and Bruce Allen won in a wild Sunday afternoon.
Though by most standards the final round of the Funny car division would be considered an upset, but not the way Force was running Sunday. The 11-time champion barely beat Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semifinal round, as the Skoal Racing Camaro led at mid-track. But then the burst panel on Johnson’s car flew way up into the sky and Force slipped past him to advance to his 15th final round appearance in the last 26 events.
In the final round Force led at the 60-foot lights, but went up in smoke at the 330-foot mark. Worsham beat Gary Scelzi, Gary Densham, and Scotty Cannnon on his way to his fifth win in the last two years, and the eighth of his career.
Before the exciting Funny Car final round, the Top Fuel division provided some sparks and fun, as 1999 champion Schumacher broke out of his slump to win first event since the 2000 U.S Nationals. The Don Schumacher-owned U.S. Army dragster team beat Paul Romine, Japanese newcomer Yuichi Oyama, and Clay Millican en route to the upset of points leader and top seed Larry Dixon.
The Pro Stock Final Round also produced an upset, as Allen crushed legendary “Professor” Warren Johnson at the line with a 410-second reaction time to Johnson's sluggish .475-second launch. Bruce Allen beat Greg Anderson, George Marnell, and Mike Edwards on his way to his 15th career event win.
Force will now have to wait until the MacTool Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway the weekend of March 15-17 for his 100th career win.
Kenseth wins, but car fails post-race
By DAVID POOLE
Matt Kenseth celebrates at North Carolina Speedway on Sunday after his Subway 400 win.
ROCKINGHAM - The yellow flag didn’t come out until Matt Kenseth took the lead. The red flag didn’t come out at all. And the penalty flag will most likely be thrown Monday. Kenseth’s victory in Sunday’s Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway was controversial even before his car was found to be lower than the minimum 51-inch height requirement in post-race inspection - an infraction that usually brings with it a fine but no change the results of the race.
Kenseth shot past Bobby Labonte and then Sterling Marlin on Lap 387, seizing an opportunity when those two drivers’ cars apparently slipped in oil in turns 3 and 4.
NASCAR then decided the oil and other debris made the track too dangerous for the racing to continue, putting out a yellow to start Lap 389 - with five laps to go and Kenseth back out front, where he’d spent much of the second half of the race.
It has been NASCAR’s recent practice to stop the cars with a red flag to preserve a green-flag finish in similar situations. It happened last weekend at Daytona, for example, leading to Marlin’s now infamous excursion from his Dodge to pull his fender off his tire.
This time, however, the cars continued around the track behind the pace car and the race finished under yellow, with Kenseth beating Marlin and Labonte to score his second career victory. The other came in May of 2000, Kenseth’s rookie year, in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Kenseth’s car was, according to NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Humphrey, about one-quarter inch below the minimum height requirement in postrace inspection.
"As in recent years, this decision has no affected the outcome of race positions and should not in this case," Humphrey said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team was fined $25,000 when his car was below the height requirement after his win at Talladega in October, but his victory was allowed to stand.
And the red flag issue?
"In essence, there wasn’t enough time when the last caution came out, with the circumstances around it...to red flag the race and end under green," NASCAR president Mike Helton said after the race. "It wouldn’t be fair to have a caution, throw a red and not open up pit road."
Helton said that Sunday’s situation fell one lap short of providing the opportunity for such a finish. But in stating that he mistakenly said the caution began at the completion of Lap 389. Actually, the yellow came out after 388 laps.
"Whoever is running the show sometimes decides to do it and sometimes they don’t," Marlin said of NASCAR’s call. "I depends on who’s leading the race."
Helton said different circumstances lead to different applications of the rule.
"It depends on where we are," Helton said. "It’s not (a rule) you can put down on paper. But if we have the time to do it, it’s in our interest to do it if we have the time. We just didn’t have enough laps today to do it here in Rockingham."
It’s easy to see why Marlin would be upset. If NASCAR had kept the cars running under yellow instead of showing the red flag with six laps to go, Marlin likely could have limped around even on a flat tire to win the Daytona 500. This week, a red flag would have given him at least a chance to get the win back from Kenseth.
"As long as they’re consistent, it doesn’t matter," said Tony Glover, team manager for Chip Ganassi Racing, which owns Marlin’s car. "In my opinion they weren’t consistent today. I’m zero for 900 with NASCAR, so I don’t plan on winning this one."
No, Kenseth did with a quick move to low side when Marlin and Labonte momentarily lost grip in the oil on Lap 386 - as the race remained under the green flag despite Robby Gordon’s spin in Turn 2 and Ken Schrader’s brush with the wall in Turn 4.
"I always feel like things don’t go my way," Kenseth said. "This time we were in the right place. ...My car would push behind those guys pretty bad and I was down in (turns) 3 and 4 trying to grab the apron and get it to turn me. The oil was up in the middle of the track where Bobby and Sterling were running. I was lucky enough to be down on the bottom."
Kenseth first took the lead on Lap 147 and had it for a total of 152 laps the rest of the way. His pit crew, which won the annual competition among crews here last fall, peeled off one great stop after another to keep him out front over the final laps.
Ricky Craven, who started from the pole and led the first 104 laps, had been struggling to keep up on pit road all day. So when Mike Skinner blew an engine to bring out a yellow on Lap 366, Craven stayed out while everyone else pitted.
Kenseth fell behind Labonte, who had rallied from a lap down early in the race, and Marlin as they raced behind Craven on the restart, leaving him in third once their fresher tires had allowed them all to get past Craven.
That put Kenseth in position to make the move that wound up bringing him the victory, his first in 60 races.
"I always wondered," Kenseth said when asked if he doubted he would ever win again. "I’ll wonder tomorrow if there will ever be a next one because you never know. It felt like 160 races."
One Engine No Factor by Lee Montgomery
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – NASCAR’s one-engine rule didn’t seem to have much effect Sunday in its first test at the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway.
Yes, three drivers blew engines, but they all happened in the first half of the race. Stacy Compton blew up on Lap 25, Dale Jarrett on Lap 145 and Michael Waltrip on Lap 180.
One other driver, Kurt Busch, had to change engines before Sunday’s race. Busch’s team swapped engines Saturday, forcing Busch to give up his seventh starting spot. He moved to the back of the field on the pace lap and ran outside the Top 25 most of the first half of the race.
Jarrett was leading when his engine blew on Lap 145, 18 laps after passing Jeff Green for the lead.
Asked if his trouble had anything to do with the one-engine rule, Jarrett said, “No. I mean, this early in the race? No. If it would have happened later, you might look at parts like that, but not this early in the race.
“It didn’t give any warning. The temperatures were all OK. We weren’t turning a lot of RPMs. Something let go. Parts are going to break some of the time. It doesn’t happen in our camp much.
“We had a car to beat. Looks like we could have gotten another Top 10. I’m happy to be running up front when it happened.”
In the previous two spring races at North Carolina Speedway, there was only two engine failures combined. Compton was the only driver to drop out of the race due to engine trouble last year.
An Amazing Statistic Geoffrey Bodine didn't even participate in Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, yet after two events, he's higher in the Winston Cup points standings than several prominent regulars.
Bodine is 28th in the points, while Dale Jarrett is 29th, Ricky Rudd is 30th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 31st, Ken Schrader is 34th, Jeremy Mayfield is 36th and Jimmy Spencer is 40th.
Jarrett finished 42nd on Sunday, Rudd finished 18th, Earnahrdt Jr. was 26th and Mayfield was 29th.
Gordon in the Middle of Trouble Again Jeff Gordon helped trigger a second multi-car crash in as many weeks when he tapped Casey Atwood off Turn 2 on Lap 156. By the time the crash was over, Kyle Petty, Buckshot Jones, Ken Schrader and Jeremy Mayfield were also involved.
Last week in the Daytona 500, Gordon and Kevin Harvick tangled while battling for second, triggering an 18-car crash.
At Rockingham, Atwood’s car kicked sideways after contact from Gordon, and in the smoke, Petty T-boned Atwood. Gordon’s car escaped unscathed.
Petty, Atwood and Jones were all released from the infield care center without injuries.
Asked what happened, a terse Petty said, “Don’t know, man.”
Johnson Crewman Hurt on Pit Road David Bryant, the front tire carrier on Jimmie Johnson’s team, injured his right leg on the team’s first pit stop. Bryant was hit by Mark Martin, who was pitting ahead of Johnson and was pulling into his stall.
Bryant was alert and was transported to Richmond Memorial Hospital for X-rays, where it was discovered that he has a broken right leg. He was later transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he was expected to be held at least overnight for treatment.
Wallace, APR head to Las Vegas Mike Wallace will drive at least one more race in Andy Petree Racing’s unsponsored No. 33 Chevy. Wallace and APR have entered the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Wallace had sponsorship for the Daytona 500, but it ran in generic white for the Subway 400 at Rockingham.
Busch Fields Have Been Full The supposed trouble the Busch Series is going to have filling a full 43-car field hasn’t happened yet. There were 48 cars entered at Daytona, with 45 here at Rockingham. And next week at Las Vegas, there will be 52 cars attempt to qualify.
Parker Says Thanks for the Prayers Tara Parker, the wife of Kurt Busch’s car chief, Shawn Parker, attended the race this weekend and was introduced during the MRO chapel service. Parker had a heart transplant last July, and after chaplain Dale Beaver introduced her, Parker tearfully thanked the drivers and their families for praying for her during her ordeal.
Sadler Had Big Week, Too Ward Burton isn’t he only driver who came to Rockingham with a big smile on his face. Fellow Virginian Elliott Sadler finished second to Burton in the Daytona 500, and while he didn’t have the national exposure Burton did, he did have a good week.
“We had a pretty cool time at home,” Sadler said. “A lot of my friends have been coming over. We’ve been partying a little bit and celebrating. We had like 80 people over at the house Tuesday night, cooking steaks and taking it easy.
“To us, second in the Daytona 500, from the way the week started, is just like a win for this program. It’s pretty cool to start off the season on top of the points instead of 30th or 40th, kinda like we’ve done in the past.”
Sadler will visit the Virginia legislature Tuesday with his parents.
“I don’t know what they have planned,” Sadler said. “All I know is I’m supposed to look nice and dress neat. I’ll probably be clean-shaven because it seems to be important. No hunting gear. I think they’re going to make me wear a tie, actually. I’m not used to that, so I’m don’t know how that’s going to work.”
Sadler gets another treat later this week in Las Vegas when he’ll fly shotgun in an F-15 fighter jet while his Wood Brothers race team flies in a refueling jet.
“We’re going to have a pit stop at 10,000 feet,” Sadler said. “That’ll be pretty cool. The fastest thing I’ve flown in goes about 200 mph. This one goes about 800. I think I’m in for a real treat.
“I told (the pilot) I’m not taking any barf bag. If he’s going to make me throw up, I’m going to throw up all over him and his airplane.”
Rockingham is Harvick’s ‘Mile Marker’ North Carolina Speedway holds a special place in Kevin Harvick’s heart. Two years ago, he came to Rockingham as a Busch Series rookie, but he went home early after failing to qualify.
Last year, though, Rockingham was his first race as replacement for the late Dale Earnhardt. In the fall, he returned to North Carolina Speedway to clinch the Busch Series championship.
“It’s kinda unique how Rockingham has been the mile marker for my career at Richard Childress Racing,” Harvick said. “It seems especially unique now that two seasons in NASCAR have passed and it all comes back to this place.
“No matter what else may happen at any other given track, Rockingham will always be special to me. It’s like it chose me – I didn’t choose it. It’s places like Daytona and Charlotte most people have as their career mile markers, but for me it’s Rockingham. The strange thing is I don’t have the love for it the way guys usually do for the track that acts as their career mile marker. Nothing a few wins won’t solve. Kidding. Rockingham has grown on me, how could it not?”
Nemechek Returns with Different Team The last time Joe Nemechek was here, he dominated, winning the Pop Secret 400 last year in a runaway. Nemechek has since switched teams and manufacturers, but he hoped to match the success in 2002.
“We’ll try some of the same things we did in that car,” Nemechek said. “I’m learning that there are some little differences between the bodies of a Chevrolet and a Ford. The chassis that they use with the No. 33 car are different from what they use with the No. 26, so there are just a lot of different variables that go into that. A lot of it is just going by the seat of your pants. You have to feel what the race car is doing and try to give good input to the crew so, hopefully, you hit on the right thing.”
Nemechek wasn’t fast enough to qualify, taking a provisional and starting 37th. Andy Petree Racing, for whom Nemechek drove last year, has brought the same car for Bobby Hamilton, who started 10th on Sunday.
Nemechek, though, spun into the Turn 2 wall on the 18th lap, causing some sheet-metal damage to the left rear of his car.
Updated Winston Cup points February 25, 2002:
Updated Winston Cup driver points after Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, the second of 36 scheduled races, with rank, driver, points and change since the last race:
1. Sterling Marlin, 327, +5
2. Ward Burton, 309, -1
3. Kurt Busch, 292, +1
4. Jeff Gordon, 289, +5
5. Jeff Burton, 282, +6
6. Ricky Craven, 272, +11
7. Ryan Newman, 267, +1
8. Bill Elliott, 260, +4
9. Matt Kenseth, 254, +23
10. Rusty Wallace 251, +8
11. Mark Martin, 250, -4
12. Elliott Sadler, 240, -10
13. Bobby Labonte, 231, +21
14. Johnny Benson 228, -4
15. Jeff Green, 220, +4
16. Terry Labonte 218, +4
17. Robby Gordon, 215, -4
18. Kenny Wallace, 207, +12
19. Bobby Hamilton, 205, +14
20. Michael Waltrip, 203, -15
21. Jimmie Johnson, 197, -6
22. Tony Stewart, 194, +21
23. Brett Bodine, 188, -7
24. Dave Blaney, 185, +2
25. John Andretti, 175, +12
26. Jerry Nadeau, 172, +1
27. Ricky Rudd, 166, +11
28. Kevin Harvick, 166, +7
29. Geoffrey Bodine, 165, -26
30. Dale Jarrett, 163, -16
31. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 161, -2
32. Mike Wallace, 149, -11
33. Mike Skinner, 149, -10
34. Ken Schrader, 148, -9
35. Todd Bodine, 137, -4
36. Jeremy Mayfield, 122, +3
37. Stacy Compton, 116, -9
38. Joe Nemechek, 107, +2
39. Casey Atwood, 104, -3
40. Jimmy Spencer, 104
41. Robert Pressley, 97, -19
42. Kyle Petty, 92, -1
43. Shawna Robinson, 91, -19
44. Hut Stricklin, 82
45. Rick Mast, 61
46. Buckshot Jones, 40
47. Dave Marcis, 37
Matt Kenseth Wins the Subway 400
1 25 #17 Matt Kenseth Ford DeWalt Power Tools 185/10 393 Running
2 6 #40 Sterling Marlin Dodge Coors Light 175/5 393 Running
3 14 #18 Bobby Labonte Pontiac Interstate Batteries 165/0 393 Running
4 19 #20 Tony Stewart Pontiac Home Depot 160/0 393 Running
5 1 #32 Ricky Craven Ford Tide 160/5 393 Running
6 22 #99 Jeff Burton Ford CITGO Racing 150/0 393 Running
7 33 #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 146/0 393 Running
8 8 #2 Rusty Wallace Ford Miller Lite 142/0 393 Running
9 10 #55 Bobby Hamilton Chevrolet Schneider Electric 138/0 393 Running
10 9 #1 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Pennzoil 134/0 393 Running
11 28 #9 Bill Elliott Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW 130/0 393 Running
12 7 #97 Kurt Busch Ford Rubbermaid 127/0 393 Running
13 18 #22 Ward Burton Dodge Caterpillar 129/5 393 Running
14 23 #12 Ryan Newman * Ford ALLTEL 121/0 393 Running
15 35 #43 John Andretti Dodge Cheerios 118/0 393 Running
16 40 #5 Terry Labonte Chevrolet Kellogg's 115/0 393 Running
17 27 #28 Ricky Rudd Ford Havoline 117/5 393 Running
18 15 #30 Jeff Green Chevrolet America Online 114/5 393 Running
19 34 #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet GM Goodwrench 106/0 393 Running
20 12 #41 Jimmy Spencer Dodge Target 103/0 392 Running
21 17 #6 Mark Martin Ford Pfizer/Viagra 100/0 392 Running
22 36 #77 Dave Blaney Ford Jasper Engines & Transmissions 97/0 392 Running
23 3 #10 Johnny Benson Pontiac Valvoline 94/0 392 Running
24 16 #31 Robby Gordon Chevrolet Cingular Wireless 91/0 392 Running
25 5 #25 Jerry Nadeau Chevrolet UAW/Delphi 88/0 391 Running
26 29 #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 85/0 391 Running
27 39 #23 Hut Stricklin Dodge Hills Bros Coffee 82/0 391 Running
28 11 #48 Jimmie Johnson * Chevrolet Lowe's 79/0 390 Running
29 21 #19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW 76/0 390 Running
30 31 #11 Brett Bodine Ford DuraLube 73/0 390 Running
31 38 #21 Elliott Sadler Ford Motorcraft 70/0 390 Running
32 41 #66 Todd Bodine Ford Kmart 67/0 387 Running
33 37 #26 Joe Nemechek Ford Kmart School Spirit 64/0 386 Running
34 43 #90 Rick Mast Ford Duke's Mayonnaise/ Sauer's 61/0 385 Running
35 2 #36 Ken Schrader Pontiac M&M's 58/0 384 Off Track
36 24 #4 Mike Skinner Chevrolet Kodak 55/0 362 Out of Race
37 32 #45 Kyle Petty Dodge Sprint 52/0 332 Running
38 30 #33 Mike Wallace Chevrolet TBA 49/0 288 Running
39 20 #7 Casey Atwood Dodge Sirius Satellite Radio 46/0 281 Running
40 26 #15 Michael Waltrip Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 43/0 173 Out of Race
41 13 #44 Buckshot Jones Dodge Georgia Pacific 40/0 153 Out of Race
42 4 #88 Dale Jarrett Ford UPS 42/5 145 Out of Race
43 42 #14 Stacy Compton Pontiac Conseco 34/0 25 Out of Race
How the Winston Cup Points System Works
By Jenny Zimmerman:
Finishing last in a Winston Cup race isn't as awful as it seems. Everyone gets a piece of the action in some way, shape or form. Points are awarded to every driver who competes in a Winston Cup race.
Michael Waltrip The winner of a Winston Cup race pockets 175 points. From there the points given decline in five-point increments for places two through six, points awarded drop four points per driver for positions seven through 11 and three-point increments separate drivers' points for finishers in 12th place or lower.
2nd place: 170 points 3rd place: 165 points 4th: 160 points 5th: 155 points 6th: 150 points 7th: 146 points, and so on. The 43rd-place finisher gets 34 points. Drivers who lead a lap earn five bonus points. The driver who leads the most laps in a single event earns 10 bonus points.
The official results of the Daytona 500 help illustrate how the points are doled out: Michael Waltrip, who won the 2001 season-opener, led 27 laps of the 500, earning five points in addition to the first-place 175 points. His total points earned for the race: 180.
Second-place finisher Dale Earnhardt Jr., who netted 170 points for his position, also earned five points for leading laps. His total points: 175. Rusty Wallace earned 165 points for finishing third.
He didn't lead any laps. Fourth-place finisher Ricky Rudd led no laps either. He took home 160 points for his effort. Bill Elliott, in fifth, led one lap and jumped from 155 points to tie with Rudd at 160.
Mike Wallace earned 150 points for his sixth-place finish. Sterling Marlin, who finished seventh, earned 146 for the effort and picked up five more for leading a lap. His total points earned: 151, one point better than the guy who finished in front of him.
Ward Burton, who finished 35th, earned 58 points for his effort and another 10 for leading a race-record 53 laps. Total points for the elder Burton brother: 68. That's better than 34th-place finisher Jason Leffler (61 points) and 32nd-place Jerry Nadeau (67).
Owners are rewarded in the points race in much the same fashion but, unlike drivers, they earn points for merely attempting to make a race. If Joe Gibbs Racing shows up with Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, but Stewart fails to qualify, Joe Gibbs Racing earns points based on Stewart's non-qualifying speed. Tony Stewart For instance, if Stewart is the fastest non-qualifier on race day, Joe Gibbs Racing is awarded 31 points, three down from the 43rd-place points. The scale continues downward from there for all non-qualifiers, with the lowest possible point(s) awarded being one.
Manufacturers have a points race of their own. The car maker who has a driver take first place in a race earns nine points for that race. Second-best performance by a manufacturer gets six points, third place earns four points and fourth place, three points. At Daytona: Chevrolet, nine points; Ford, six points; Dodge, four points; Pontiac, three points.
Pennzoil World of Outlaws
Perris Auto Speedway
February 23, 2002
1) Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 13.875 (New single lap record) 2) Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 14.117 3) Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 14.117 4) Jac Haudenschild, Forbrook 5, 14.122 5) Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 14.190 6) Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 14.333 7) Daryn Pittman, Sherdon Motorsports 21, 14.381 8) Mark Kinser, Kinser 5M, 14.423 9) Craig Dollansky, Karavan Racing 7, 14.430 10) Brad Furr, Furr 2, 14.452 11) Sammy Swindell, Roth 83JR, 14.467 12) Stevie Smith, Helm 11H, 14.476 13) Randy Hannagan, THR Racing 1X, 14.512 14) Danny Wood, Parsons 6, 14.592 15) Jason Meyers, Carter 14, 14.598 16) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 14.681 17) Brian Paulus, P&P Motorsports 28, 14.755 18) Jim Carter, Rudeen 14C, 14.790 19) Toni Lutar, Lutar 4X, 14.943 20) Jayme Barnes, Barnes 9, 14.945 21) Mike Faria, Faria 4, 14.985 22) Tommy Tarlton, Tarlton 21T, 14.996 23) Andy Forsberg, Forsberg 92, 15.245 24) Peter Murphy, Williams 0, 15.253 25) Bob Duncan, Duncan 3B, 15.740 26) Randy Waitman, Waitman 69, 15.765 27) Ernest McAffee, Mcaffee 22, 17.460
First Heat Race (8 lps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Donny Schatz 2) Randy Hannagan 3) Brad Furr 4) Jac Haudenschild 5) Daryn Pittman 6) Danny Lasoski 7) Toni Lutar 8) Tommy Tarlton 9) Bob Duncan
Second Heat Race (8laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Danny Wood 2) Mark Kinser 3) Sammy Swindell 4) Brian Paulus 5) Joey Saldana 6) Terry McCarl 7) Jayme Barnes 8) Andy Forsberg 9) Randy Waitman
Third Heat Race (8laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Jason Meyers 2) Craig Dollansky 3) Stevie Smith 4) Jim Carter 5) Tim Shaffer 6) Steve Kinser 7) Mike Faria 8) Peter Murphy 9) Ernest McAffee
First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined inside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Daryn Pittman 2) Sammy Swindell 3) Terry McCarl 4) Danny Lasoski 5) Jason Meyers 6) Tim Shaffer 7) Craig Dollansky 8) Randy Hannagan
Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined outside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Steve Kinser 2) Mark Kinser 3) Joey Saldana 4) Jac Haudenschild 5) Brad Furr 6) Donny Schatz 7) Stevie Smith 8) Danny Wood
B-main (8laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Tommy Tarlton 2) Mike Faria 3) Toni Lutar 4) Jayme Barnes 5) Peter Murphy 6) Andy Forsberg 7) Randy Waitman 8) Bob Duncan 9) Ernest McAffee
A-main (30 laps)--1) Daryn Pittman 2) Steve Kinser 3) Sammy Swindell 4) Donny Schatz 5) Mark Kinser 6) Danny Lasoski 7) Brad Furr 8) Craig Dollansky 9) Stevie Smith 10) Randy Hannagan 11) Jason Meyers 12) Tim Shaffer 13) Terry McCarl 14) Danny Wood 15) Brian Paulus 16) Joey Saldana 17) Jayme Barnes 18) Mike Faria 19) Toni Lutar 20) Jim Carter 21) Tommy Tarlton 22) Jac Haudenschild 23) Andy Forsberg 24) Peter Murphy
Lap leaders: Daryn Pittman, 1-30
"Notes": Peter Murphy changed engines after warm-ups
Lap 1--Daryn Pittman got the jump off of turn 4 to take the lead. Sammy Swindell took 3rd from Mark Kinser low exiting turn 4
Lap 3--Mark Kinser got by Sammy Swindell for 3rd on the top exiting turn 4
Lap 5--Donny Schatz got by Danny Lasoski for7th low in 1&2
Lap 6--Traffic. Pittman's lead 10 carlengths
Lap 8--Leader Daryn Pittman jumped the cushion and brushed the wall in turn 1, falling to 4th, but Joey Saldana also hit the wall and stopped in turn 1 while trying to avoid Pittman, and the caution waved, giving Pittman the lead back
Lap 10-Donny Schatz tried to get by Jac Haudenschild for 5th low in 1&2, but couldn't make it work
Lap 15--Traffic. Pittman's lead 6 carlengths
Lap 16--Sammy Swindell took 3rd from Mark Kinser low exiting turn 4. With 16 laps complete, caution for Mike Faria, who spun in turn 4
Lap 17--On the restart, Steve Kinser went low in 1&2, pulled even with Pittman, bu couldn't complete the pass
Lap 18--Jac Haudenschild (5th at the time) dropped out with engine problems
Lap 21--Traffic. Pittman's lead 3 carlengths
Lap 22--Jim Carter spun just in front of the leaders, bringing out the caution.
Lap 25--Brad Furr passed Danny Lasoski for 6th low exiting turn 4
Lap 26--Danny Lasoski got back by Furr for 6th on the top in 3&4
Lap 27--Donny Schatz took 4th from Mark Kinser low on the backstretch
Lap 30--Steve Kinser went low entering turn 3 and pulled even with Daryn Pittman. Pittman and Kinser raced side by side out of turn 4 and down to he checkered flag, with Pittman hanging on to win by inches.
"All night long I kept telling myself 'it doesn't matter where you finish, just don't make any mistakes out there,' and then I got behind (Brian) Paulus getting into turn 1 and got off the gas the same time I hit the cushion, and just about turned the thing over, then once I figured out it wasn't going to turn over, I just got back in the gas. I'm sorry that Joey (Saldana) crashed trying to miss me--you hate to see something like that. I know you can never count Steve Kinser out. I think beating him like this is better than winning by 10 carlengths. When you can finish in front of Steve and Sammy, you know you've had a pretty good night. Our car was really good all night long, but when we got into the wall over there, we must have bent a radius rod or something on the front suspension, because after that, the front end just wanted to roll under the car anytime we got near the cushion. Three weeks ago, I wasn't sure I was going to be out here at all, then we put this deal together with Donnie Woodburn, and our crew has worked really hard just to get things ready to start the year."
Lasoski Wins 2002 WoO Opener
Danny Lasoski-"My car was really good on the bottom, and that's where I tried to stay. I was having a tough time getting by some of those (lapped cars), and I figured somebody would be showing me a nose pretty soon. I couldn't do any of this without J.D. Byrider, HAMM, Verne Massey, American Compressed Steel, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier tires, and Kistler engines, and my crew Jimmy Carr, Todd Splain, and Bobby Mack are the best. I'm really proud to be able to represent the Pennzoil World of Outlaws and dirt track racing in IROC--everything I've learned with a sprint car goes out the window when I race with those guys. I think they probably wondered if I had any talent at all, but then toward the end they started running with me, so maybe we can get a little better at the next one."
Qualifying 1)Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 12.779 2) Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 12.780 3) Craig Dollansky, Karavan Racing 7, 12.840 4) Jac Haudenschlid, Forbrook 5, 12.85 5) Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 12.945 6) Daryn Pittman, Sherdon Motorsports 21, 12.987 7) Stevie Smith, Helm 11H, 13.033 8) Randy Hannagan, K&C Drywall 1X, 13.058 9) Brad Furr, Furr 2, 13.065 10) Mark Kinser, Kinser 5M, 13.140 11) Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 13.193 12) Peter Murphy. Williams 0, 13.231 13) Jason Meyers, Carter 14, 13.252 14) Brian Paulus, P&P Motorsports 28, 13.305 15) Mike Faria, Faria 4, 13.319 16) Brian Coelho, Coelho 5C, 13.363 17) Sammy Swindell, Roth 83JR, 13.098 (scored 17th after missing his position in the qualifying order) 18) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 13.370 19) Danny Wood, Parsons 6, 13.372 20) Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 13.374 21) Tommy Tarlton, Tarlton 21T, 13.430 22) Lawrence Edlund, Edlund 1, 13.584 23) Toni Lutar, Lutar 4X, 13595 24) Steven Allard, Allard 1M, 13.696 25) Jayme Barnes, DIRT 9, 13.845 26) Jim Carter, Rudeen 14C, 13.875 27) Kyle Schild, Schild 16, 14.188 28) Andy Forsberg, Forsberg 92, 14.237 29) Mark Barroso, Barroso 78, 14.334 30) Randy Waitman, Waitman 69, 14.413 31) Bob Duncan, Duncan 3B, 14.479 32) Ernest McAffee, McAffee 22, 17.587
First Heat Race (8laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Sammy Swindell 2) Tommy Tarlton 3) Brad Furr 4) Jason Meyers 5) Tim Shaffer 6) Joey Saldana 7) Mark Barroso 8) Jayme Barnes
Second Heat Race (8laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Daryn Pittman 2) Danny Wood 3) Danny Lasoski 4) Brian Paulus 5) Mark Kinser 6) Randy Waitman 7) Jim Carter 8) Lawrence Edlund
Third Heat Race (8laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Steve Kinser 2) Mike Faria 3) Stevie Smith 4) Toni Lutar 5) Kyle Schild 6) Terry McCarl 7) Craig Dollansky 8) Bob Duncan
Fourth Heat Race (8laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Jac Haudenschild 2) Stephen Allard 3) Donny Schatz 4) Randy Hannagan 5) Andy Forsberg 6) Brian Coelho 7) Peter Murphy 8) Ernest McAffee
First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined inside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Danny Lasoski 2) Tim Shaffer 3) Stevie Smith 4) Brad Furr 5) Steve Kinser 6) Brian Paulus 7) Sammy Swindell 8) Donny Schatz
Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined outside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Jac Hauenschild 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Mark Kinser 4) Jason Meyers 5) Randy Hannagan 6) Danny Wood 7) Tommy Tarlton 8) Mike Faria
B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1)Joey Saldana 2) Brian Coelho 3) Terry McCarl 4) Craig Dollansky 5) Jim Carter 6) Mark Barroso 7) Jayme Barnes 8) Bob Duncan 9) Randy Waitman 10) Peter Murphy 11) Lawrence Edlund 12) Ernest McAffee
A-main (30 laps)--1) Danny Lasoski 2) Tim Shaffer 3) Steve Kinser 4) Mark Kinser 5) Stevie Smith 6) Jac Haudenschild 7) Sammy Swindell 8) Jason Meyers 9) Donny Schatz 10) Joey Saldana 11) Randy Hannagan 12) Brian Paulus 13) Danny Wood 14) Terry McCarl 15) Stephen Allard 16) Brad Furr 17) Craig Dollansky 18) Tommy Tarlton 19) Brian Coelho 20) Andy Forsberg 21) Toni Lutar 22) Daryn Pittman 23) Mike Faria 24) Kyle Schild
Lap leaders: Danny Lasoski 1-30
"Notes": Sammy Swindell had engine problems on his first time trial lap, and returned to take one lap at the end.
Lawrence Edlund flipped in the first corner of the second heat race, collecting Mark Kinser and Brian Paulus. Kinser pitted and replaced a left front tire, and Edlund was unable to restart.
Craig Dollansky had mechanical problems while running 3rd in the 3rd heat race, and was unable to continue. Craig then switched to a back-up car and started scratch in the B-main
Terry McCarl was leading the 3rd heat race on the final lap when his car lost power in turn 2, handing the victory to Steve Kinser
Brian Coelho and Peter Murphy tangled while running in transfer positions on the first lap of the 4th heat race. Neither driver was able to continue.
Donny Schatz had fuel line problems while lining up for the first O'Reilly Auto Parts dash, and was unable to start the event.
Peter Murphy, Jayme Barnes, and Lawrence Edlund tangled on the first lap of the B-main, with Edlund and Murphy flipping. Neither driver was able to restart. Craig Dollansky pitted under the red, and restarted at the back.
Lap 1--Danny Lasoski got the jump off of turn 4 to take the lead. With one lap complete, caution for Brad Furr who stopped on the backstretch with a flat left rear tire. Furr's crew put a new tire on, and he was able to restart.
Lap 2--Tim Shaffer took 2nd from Jac Haudenschild low exiting turn 2
Lap 3--Daryn Pittman got by Mark Kinser for 6th low exiting turn 2, but Kinser was able to get the position back low in 3&4
Lap 4--Caution for Pittman, who spun in turn 1. Brian Paulus up from 11th to 7th
Lap 5--Paulus took 6th from Mark Kinser low exiting turn 4
Lap 7--Caution again for Pittman, who stopped in turn 3
Lap 8--Stevie Smith got 3rd from Jac Haudenschild on the top in 1&2. Mark Kinser got by Brian Paulus for 6th on the top in 1&2 as well.
Lap 10--Mark Kinser got 5th from Steve Kinser on the top exiting turn 4. With 10 laps complete, caution for Kyle Schild, who stopped in turn 3 with a broken front torsion stop.
Lap 15--Traffic. Lasoski's lead 10 carlengths
Lap 16-- Mark Kinser passed Jac Haudenschild for 4th on the top exiting turn 4
Lap 21--Steve Kinser took 5th from Haudenschild low in 1&2
Lap 22--Lasoski's lead 5 carlengths
Lap 25--Mark Kinser passed Stevie Smith for 3rd on the top exiting turn 4
Lap 26--in heavy traffic, both Steve Kinser and Stevie Smith passed Mark Kinser on the backstretch, with Steve taking 3rd, and Smith grabbing 4th
Lap 29--Mark Kinser got back by Stevie Smith for 4th on the top in 1&2
Lap 30--Danny Lasoski won by 5 carlengths
"My car was really good on the bottom, and that's where I tried to stay. I was having a tough time getting by some of those (lapped cars), and I figured somebody would be showing me a nose pretty soon. I couldn't do any of this without J.D. Byrider, HAMM, Verne Massey, American Compressed Steel, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier tires, and Kistler engines, and my crew Jimmy Carr, Todd Splain, and Bobby Mack are the best. I'm really proud to be able to represent the Pennzoil World of Outlaws and dirt track racing in IROC--everything I've learned with a sprint car goes out the window when I race with those guys. I think they probably wondered if I had any talent at all, but then toward the end they started running with me, so maybe we can get a little better at the next one."
Craven rides momentum to Rockingham pole By MIKE HARRIS
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Ricky Craven is feeling the momentum and sitting on the pole after qualifying Friday for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway.
After a strong finish in 2001, Craven wobbled a little in the season-opening Daytona 500. He started last in a field of 43, but drove to a 17th-place finish.
"I've got a lot better perspective than I had five years ago," Craven said after beating runner-up Ken Schrader by about 1 1/2 mph in qualifying for Sunday's race at North Carolina Speedway. "Starting last was tough on the team, but finishing 17th, that was higher than we finished in the points last year, so we're off to a good start.
"It's all about being realistic."
Craven's fast lap of 156.008 mph in Cal Wells' Ford was plenty quick enough to beat the 154.696 of Schrader's Pontiac. It also was considerably faster than the speeds Craven turned earlier in the day in practice on the 1.017-mile oval.
"I was really loose off the truck and I couldn't power down in the corners," Craven explained. "I told my guys, 'If you can tie this thing down, it's a rocket.'"
He said crew chief Mike Beam and engineer Roy McCauley made the right decisions.
"This can be a difficult business, but when the car runs like that, it's not very hard," Craven said. "When we ran that lap, I said, 'Guys, thank you!'"
It was the fifth pole of Craven's career and his second since joining Wells' team last season. After a slow start, Craven earned an emotional first victory in Martinsville, Va., and a runner-up finish in Michigan en route to finishing 21st in the final Winston Cup standings.
That had everyone on the team looking forward to 2002.
"From the second half of 2001 to today, we have turned the corner," Craven said. "We didn't lose anybody from last year, and it's like the season didn't end. We just picked up where we left off.
"After Daytona, it's nice to win the pole and pick up on the momentum, but we still have to finish the job on Sunday."
Johnny Benson, Schrader's teammate, was third in another Pontiac at 154.631, followed at 154.507 by the Ford of Dale Jarrett, who has eight top-fives and 12 top-10s in the last 12 races here.
Jerry Nadeau was fifth in a Chevrolet at 154.357, with sixth-place Sterling Marlin the top-qualifying Dodge driver at 154.292.
Rookie Jimmie Johnson, who won the pole in Daytona and finished 15th, qualified 11th at 153.683.
Ward Burton, who won last Sunday, was 18th in a Dodge at 153.394.
"That's OK," Burton said. "We don't normally set the record qualifying, but we'll run good come Sunday."
Series champion Jeff Gordon, ninth in Daytona, qualified 33rd Friday at 152.671.
Among the drivers who didn't make the 43-car field for Sunday's race was Dick Trickle. He's driving for the first event for car owner Dave Marcis, who ended his 33-year driving career following a 42nd-place finish in Daytona.
NASCAR's single-engine rule becomes official this weekend By RUPEN FOFARIA
The 2002 Winston Cup season, which began with an odd finish Sunday in the Daytona 500, is already taking another intriguing turn because of the new one-engine rule that takes effect this weekend for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.
Teams must now use one engine for the entire weekend, starting with qualifying Friday at 3:05 p.m. and continuing through Sunday's race. The reason for the change, which NASCAR announced late last year, is to help car owners keep down the cost of fielding a team by eliminating the temptation to buy separate engines for qualifying, practice sessions and races.
As a result, teams will be going to new engines that are suitable for all three.
"This weekend will be the first time we finally put (the engine) in the car with a driver behind the wheel and experience all the things that can happen throughout a race," said Doug Yates, the engine builder for Robert Yates Racing. "You can't simulate that in the shop."
In the past, all of the Cup teams would use less durable engines - but with more horsepower - in qualifying just to post the fastest lap possible for a two-lap run, then switch to a more durable, less powerful engine for the 400- or 500-mile workout.
This year, teams must strive to strike a balance between both qualities in one engine. And they have to protect that one engine. If it blows after qualifying - in practice - the car can get a new engine but must start at the back of the field.
"The new engine rule will be fun to watch," Dodge driver Buckshot Jones said, "unless it bites you."
"You'll try not to heat the engine up or try not to send it through a bunch of heat cycles," said Steven Lane, crew chief for Kyle Petty's Dodge. "We're just going to have to be real careful not to get the engine hot. We'll have to be real careful when we change oil not to use extremely lightweight oil like we used with our qualifying engines and just really take care of the engine before qualifying."
You might think that teams that are less able to afford multiple engines stand to benefit most from the rule change. But they also lack the millions of dollars to spend on an engine development program or the equipment to test how balanced their engines are.
"What it really forces you to do is more bench testing or testing of the components at the shop," Yates said. "Whoever has the equipment to do that, to test the valvetrain and endurance-test the engine, can actually figure the limits of the engine a little closer and then put that piece out on the track."
But the teams that can't afford the most sophisticated engine-testing may be tempted to try a different strategy - focusing on qualifying and bumping better-funded teams, with their more balanced engines, from the race.
"I think the fear of some teams that are always close to making the field is, 'What if somebody comes in with just a qualifying engine and doesn't care about blowing up and that knocks us out of the race?' " Yates said. "But ... hopefully [that won't happen and] it will work out the way everybody would like."
NASCAR will be watching closely to find out. As will the drivers.
"Everybody is going to be looking at this race under a big microscope," Dodge driver John Andretti said. "The one-engine rule will change the way things have been done in the past. ... We're going to have to wait and see how things turn out."
HP Promotions is happy to announce its 2002 contingency program for Altus Speedway, in Altus Oklahoma. by Greg Moore
A minimum of $50,000.00 and up to $100,000.00 in Contingency posting will be awarded during the 2002 season. Altus Speedway and the Contingency Connection have also signed an agreement to be part of the Mr. Gasket Performance Group "Hurst Cup" for 2002. The Altus track Champion will receive a minimum of $2000 team support from Mr. Gasket and have a chance to win an additional $5000 cash and $500 in awards. Linares Racing Supply is also contributing to the Bomber and Pony Stock Points fund. For every new tire purchased from Linares Racing, $5 will go towards the class points fund for which the tire was purchased. With these contingencies along with the weekly payout, Altus Speedway will award upto $275,000 to our weekly racers.
In Addition, many improvements have been made in the past several weeks to the Speedway. The racing surface at Altus Speedway was repaired earlier this month. The pit area was increased to handle an additional 100 tow rigs. 60' galvanized light poles were purchased to help light the back stretch and turns 2 & 3. They should be in place early next week. A new digital score board is being put in at turn 3, so that both fans and drivers will be able to view. New 8" X 16" billboards are being built to cover the entire back stretch along with other signage throughout the Speedway. Our weekly classes will be IMCA type mods, Late Model Sportsman, Pony Stocks, Bombers and Hornets. Special events will feature the PRO Supertruck Series 3 times, Legends & Bandelaro's 7 times, Super X and free style event 2 times and Monstertucks 1 time. We hope if you are looking for a place to race on Saturday nights you come check out Altus Speedway "The Action Track". Track and Racing info go to WWW.Altusspeedway.com
Kings Speedway in Hanford California, host the 1st Penzoil World of Outlaws "2002" Racing Season tonight, February 22, 2002.
Outlaws Reload for 2002 by Brian Moore
The combatants remain the same, but many World of Outlaws teams have reloaded and retooled for the coming season.
Most of the title contenders return with the same package as last season, but almost half the field has a new look for 2002.
Danny Lasoski, however, is not one of them. He is back with NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart’s No. 20 team to defend his WoO title.
“Last year was an unbelievable season for us,” Lasoski said. “With Tony Stewart putting forth the effort to put a team out there and bringing in J.D. Byrider, Hamm America, American Compressed Steel and Massey Motorsports and putting them together, it was just a dream season for me.
“To win the Knoxville Nationals and the World of Outlaws championship in one year is unbelievable. We pinch ourselves every day. It was a total team effort, from Jimmy Carr putting together a great crew, having Kistler Engines, Hoosier Tires and Eagle Chassis, and all those guys putting forth a 100 percent effort. It made my job a lot easier.”
Easier? Mark Kinser, who fell 30 points shy of the WoO title, doesn’t see it that way. He battled Lasoski throughout the 10-month season, exchanging the points lead more than a dozen times along the way.
“I feel like a prizefighter who went through the 12th round and they make a decision,” Kinser said. “We got everything but the trophy. We’re going to go after them again this year. We want to win every night; I think that showed last year. Maybe we’ll have a little bit more game plan for the home stretch.”
Kinser didn’t win every night, but it seemed like it. He won 16 races, but couldn’t win when it counted.
Mark’s cousin Steve Kinser also encountered some problems during the season. Usually up front challenging for the title, Steve won six races last season but ended the year more than 200 points behind Lasoski.
His uncharacteristic performance led some to speculate he would retire, but Steve says nothing could be further from the truth.
“I don’t want to quit,” Kinser said. “I’m enjoying racing as much as I ever have. It gets a little tough sometimes. The schedule really doesn’t bother me. I enjoy traveling now probably as much as I ever did. There for a few years I got a little burned out on it, but not any more.
“We went to a new Maxim chassis in the last five races and things started working really well. That’s something to look forward to (running the new Maxim chassis for all of 2002). We changed some things with our motor program that helped, too. We’ll just keep working on it and see what we can do.”
Joey Saldana, Tim Shaffer, Stevie Smith, Danny Wood, Jason Meyers, Jac Haudenschild and Johnny Herrera start the 2002 season with new teams.
Saldana goes back to his No. 17 and Meyers is in his family’s No. 14. Shaffer is now in the No. 83, Smith is in the No. 11, Haudenschild is in the No. 5, and Wood is in the Casey’s General Stores car.
Craig Dollansky, last year’s fourth-place finisher, has a new team preparing his No. 7, but he expects the same type of performance. He won two races last season.
“I hired D.J. Lindsey, the crew chief for Dale Blaney the last two years,” Dollansky said. “I worked with him back in 1996 and we worked pretty well together. He’s very experienced and very knowledgeable. I look forward to working with him again. My brother, Troy Dollansky, who worked with us last year, will be coming back with us as well. I look forward to having him back.”
Donny Schatz wants to win the title after finishing fifth last year in the No. 15.
“Our ultimate goal is to win the championship,” Schatz said. “I thought we had a chance at a top-three finish in the points. You have to overcome all the bad nights. The good nights take care of themselves, but the bad nights are when you need to pick things up. Danny and I are definitely the best at that. Hopefully, you’ll see us up there a little more this year, pushing a little harder. That’s a goal of mine - to be more consistent.”
Brad Furr, a rookie last season, returns to his family’s No. 2 looking to improve on his 12th-place finish in the points.
"We're going to see how we do and we'll probably end up running the series all year long. We had some down times last year, but we ended the year on a high, so I'm hoping we can be competitive and run that much better this year,” Furr said. “It's going to be a good time; I'm excited about it. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series is the most competitive sprint car racing in the world.”
Cook Fined For Daytona Infractions
One race into the season, and NASCAR is already starting to crack down on wrongdoers, and the penalty was pretty severe.
On Thursday, NASCAR officials announced that Bob Keselowski, crew chief of the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, has been fined $10,000 for using parts/equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules in the Feb. 15 season opening Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Not only was Keselowski fined, but team owner Kay Keselowski was docked 100 championship owner points, and Terry Cook was docked 100 driver points.
Cook finished sixth and gained 155 points in the race, but will obviously move to 35th in the standings following the penalty.
Cook and the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford team finished seventh in the NCTS points standings in 2001. The next race is the March 15 Darlington 200 at Darlington Raceway.
BAM! Sharp Out as Crew Chief
BAM Racing has released crew chief Eddie Sharp after only one race of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season.
BAM Racing fields Dodges for rookie Shawna Robinson in a limited schedule this year. Robinson became the second female to race in the Daytona 500, making it in as the last driver on qualifying speed. She finished 24th, 13 laps down.
The team made the decision “in an effort to improve and continue growing the new team,” a statement said.
“BAM Racing appreciates all the work Eddie Sharp did to prepare the new team for Daytona and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” team manager Eddie Jones said.
Robinson isn’t entered in this weekend’s Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. She intends to race 24 times with the unsponsored team.
Car chief Teddy Brown will serve as crew chief for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas on March 3.
Burton and Baldwin getting it done
By JIM UTTER
Ward Burton's crew greets him on his way to victory lane after winning the Daytona 500. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The pieces to the puzzle that helped Ward Burton ascend to the crest of Winston Cup racing were forged in two career-defining moments. The first was when he joined Bill Davis Racing in 1995, and he earned his first Winston Cup win in the fall at Rockingham just months after joining Davis' organization.
The second came in September 1998, when Davis brought in a young, brash upstart crew chief named Tommy Baldwin to help Burton return to Victory Lane - where Burton had not been since 1995 - and bring continuity to Davis' program.
The seeds of Burton's win in Sunday's wild, wreck-filled Daytona 500 - easily the highlight of his career - are planted in the strong relationship Davis, Burton and Baldwin share - one that takes an occasionally public view of three men who are not afraid to show their emotions, but also involves a common trust.
Race fans listening in on the team's scanner frequency have likely heard angry conversations between Burton and Baldwin during the course of a race. Davis has chimed in as well on occasion.
Each of those involved, however, say there is nothing more to the incidents than the effort needed to share in the success they all crave.
"We both get excited in the heat of the battle, but at the same time, we know each other's personality. Tommy has got a high A personality when he's in that uniform, and I do when I'm sitting in that car," Burton, 40, said.
"We both are working real hard for the common goal. Sometimes we might yell a little bit or sometimes we might laugh a little bit, but at the end of the day, it's still about togetherness and about two guys working real hard to achieve what we need to achieve."
Burton's work with Baldwin brought significant on-track success in 1999, when Burton won the spring race at Darlington. It took a bigger leap last September when Burton won the historic Southern 500 at the same track.
"It's crazy that this guy from the backwoods of Virginia (Burton) and a guy from Long Island (Baldwin) can get along that well and work together as well as they do. But they truly believe in each other," Davis said. "They're both in the best situation they've ever been in, as far as the relationships and the talent. They recognize that, they know that.
"Tommy and I fight. We don't do it at the race track, but you can't imagine the fights we've been in. That's how he is. One of things I love about Tommy is he is one of those people who you can say, 'No, consider this' and he will and if you're right, he'll go with it."
Baldwin, 35, said he and Burton commonly "vent" to each other.
"Through my whole life, growing up in the North, I lived a fast, furious lifestyle and I think that's what paid off for me, to understand the competitiveness of this sport is so huge, that you can't let little things bother you," he said.
Said Burton: "We've brought the best and worst out of each other, but we both believe in each other. Tommy knows if he gets the car I can win with that I might be capable of winning.
"The reason I'm (at BDR) is because I always thought we could be right here."
Ward Burton wins a wild Daytona 500
By DAVID POOLE
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Ward Burton won Sunday's Daytona 500 in a Dodge. He also was driving one. After a series of circumstances almost too bizarre to imagine had finally played out, Burton held off Elliott Sadler and Geoffrey Bodine over a three-lap green-flag dash to the checkered flag in Winston Cup racing's biggest event.
Burton, 40, avoided all the wrecks and other wackiness that befell a garage full of would-be contenders to earn the biggest victory of his career.
"When we all started out in racing, all of us always took the Sunday off to watch the Daytona 500," Burton said. "You think about all of the heroes of the sport, like my hero Bobby Allison, and the guys who made the sport what it is today winning this race. I can't think of anything more special.
"Being able to make that victory lap, coming down and joining our team in victory circle, there's nothing you could experience to top that."
There's not much you could experience to top a lot of what went on during this exceedingly odd afternoon.
Burton led only the final five laps, inheriting the top spot when fellow Dodge driver Sterling Marlin was penalized for working on his car under the red flag.
Marlin was second and Burton was third behind Jeff Burton on a restart with six laps left in the race. Marlin laid back as he approached the green flag, leaving a gap between his car and Gordon's Chevrolet in hopes of using that to build momentum for an eventual pass for the lead.
Gordon saw the move coming, however, and moved down to block Marlin's advance.
"If I had been in his shoes I would have tried to do the same thing," Marlin said. "…He kept coming down and we hooked bumpers and he spun out. I went on."
He didn't get far, though. Marlin's maneuver before the green flag had bunched up traffic behind him, starting a five-car wreck that had the yellow flying even before Marlin and Gordon hooked bumpers.
Marlin raced back to the line, edging Burton by a nose to keep the lead. NASCAR then threw a red flag to stop the cars while the track was cleaned up for the finish.
Marlin knew he'd damaged his right-front quarterpanel in the contact with Gordon, so when the field stopped behind the pace car on the backstretch he climbed out of his Dodge and went around to check the damage. When he started pulling the sheet metal away, a NASCAR official jumped out of the pace car to stop him.
Teams are not allowed to work on their cars under the red flag, and Marlin's actions were clearly a violation of that rule. As punishment, he had to drop to end of the longest line of traffic on the restart and he was out of contention for the win.
"I saw (Dale) Earnhardt do it at Richmond one time," Marlin said his critical blunder. "He got out and cleaned off his windshield, so I thought it was OK. It don't guess it was."
Gordon was banished to the back on the restart, too, because he pitted under the yellow before the red flag when pit road was closed.
"I should have just given up when he (Marlin) got beside me," said Gordon, who fought back to finish ninth, one spot behind Marlin. "I still would have had a shot to win the thing."
Gordon had already survived the day's biggest wreck, a 21-car dust-up in Turn 1 that began when Kevin Harvick, running second, tried to block Gordon, in third, on Lap 149. Their Chevrolets made contact and Harvick went spinning up the Turn 1 banking in front of most of the field.
"I tried to hold my ground," Harvick said. "Gordon wanted the same spot I did. I tried to block, he came up and all hell broke loose."
Ken Schrader, Ricky Rudd and Jerry Nadeau, all of whom had been running near the front at various points in the race before then, were damaged in the crash.
Somehow, Burton missed it.
"I had just a moment to decide what to do," Burton said as he tried to avoid Harvick's spinning car. "Either way, it was going to be awful close. I tried to stay low and cut the wheel hard to the left. I actually got sideways and it couldn't have been more than a foot or two in front of my nose when I went by."
A number of potential contenders had been sidelined much earlier. Tony Stewart had lost an engine on Lap 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. twice blew tires and once went sledding across the infield grass at 150 mph with no brakes. When the late-race craziness sent others to the wayside, Burton was there to take advantage.
Last year in this race, Burton led more laps than any other car but finished 35th when he got caught up in a late-race wreck. That luck turned around for him on Sunday.
It was his fourth career victory, his first since winning the Southern 500 at Darlington last September. That win in NASCAR's oldest 500-mile race was special for Burton. Sunday's was even better.
"You never really know what will happen here," he said. "It's an atmosphere that can play in your hand or play against you. We were in the right place at the right time."
That was first place, after 500 miles at Daytona.
"Unofficial Daytona 500 results"
Results from Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, with finish, car number, driver, car make, laps completed and status:
1. (22) Ward Burton, Dodge, 200, Running
2. (21) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 200, Running
3. (09) Geoffrey Bodine, Ford, 200, Running
4. (97) Kurt Busch, Ford, 200, Running
5. (15) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 200, Running
6. (6) Mark Martin, Ford, 200, Running
7. (12) Ryan Newman, Ford, 200, Running
8. (40) Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 200, Running
9. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 200, Running
10. (10) Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 200, Running
11. (9) Bill Elliott, Dodge, Dodge, 200, Running
12. (99) Jeff Burton, Ford, 200, Running
13. (31) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 200, Running
14. (88) Dale Jarrett, Ford, 200, Running
15. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 199, Running
16. (11) Brett Bodine, Ford, 199, Running
17. (32) Ricky Craven, Ford, 199, Running
18. (2) Rusty Wallace, Ford, 198, Running
19. (30) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 196, Running
20. (5) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 194, Out of Race
21. (33) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 193, Running
22. (92) Robert Pressley, Dodge, 190, Out of Race
23. (4) Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 190, Running
24. (49) Shawna Robinson, Dodge, 187, Running
25. (77) Dave Blaney, Ford, 186, Running
26. (36) Ken Schrader, Pontiac, 179, Running
27. (14) Stacy Compton, Pontiac, 178, Running
28. (25) Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, 174, Running
29. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 171, Running
30. (1) Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet, 161, Running
31. (66) Todd Bodine, Ford, 158, Running
32. (55) Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, 156, Running
33. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 154, Out of Race
34. (18) Bobby Labonte , Pontiac, 153, Out of Race
35. (7) Casey Atwood, Dodge, 153, Out of Race
36. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 148, Out of Race
37. (43) John Andretti, Dodge, 148, Out of Race
38. (28) Ricky Rudd, Ford, 148, Out of Race
39. (19) Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 148, Out of Race
40. (26) Joe Nemechek, Ford, 148, Out of Race
41. (45) Kyle Petty, Dodge, 146, Out of Race
42. (71) Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 79, Out of Race
43. (20) Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 2, Out of Race
"Unofficial" standings as of the Daytona 500.
Rank Driver Points 1. Ward Burton 180 2. Elliott Sadler 170 3. Geoffrey Bodine 165 4. Kurt Busch 165 5. Michael Waltrip 160 6. Sterling Marlin 152 7. Mark Martin 150 8. Ryan Newman 146 9. Jeff Gordon 143 10. Johnny Benson 134 11. Jeff Burton 132 12. Bill Elliott 130 13. Robby Gordon 124 14. Dale Jarrett 121 15. Jimmie Johnson 118 16. Brett Bodine 115 17. Ricky Craven 112 18. Rusty Wallace 109 19. Jeff Green 106 20. Terry Labonte 103 21. Mike Wallace 100 22. Robert Pressley 97 23. Mike Skinner 94 24. Shawna Robinson 91 25. Ken Schrader 90 26. Dave Blaney 88 27. Jerry Nadeau 84 28. Stacy Compton 82 29. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 76 30. Kenny Wallace 73 31. Todd Bodine 70 32. Matt Kenseth 69 33. Bobby Hamilton 67 34. Bobby Labonte 66 35. Kevin Harvick 60 36. Casey Atwood 58 37. John Andretti 57 38. Ricky Rudd 49 39. Jeremy Mayfield 46 40. Joe Nemechek 43 41. Kyle Petty 40 42. Dave Marcis 37 43. Tony Stewart 34
Saturday was slow, but Sunday ... By JIMMIE JOHNSON
We sat around much of Saturday waiting out the rain. We found out around 3 p.m. that both Winston Cup practice sessions were canceled. It would have been nice to get a few laps on the 500 engine to ensure there isn't anything wrong with it.
We sat around much of Saturday waiting out the rain. We found out around 3 p.m. that both Winston Cup practice sessions were canceled. It would have been nice to get a few laps on the 500 engine to ensure there isn't anything wrong with it. We're not concerned though. We turned a few laps on it earlier this week and had some of our fastest times. It's safe to say, when the rain appears, so does the media. We did a live interview with TNT during the rain delay. We squeezed in a few one-on-one interviews and I gave a Miami television station a tour of the Lowe's transporter.
The rain also altered our autograph session at the Lowe's retail trailer outside of the track. I was scheduled to sign autographs after the Busch race, but we had to go out earlier to ensure that we could fit it in.
I was told people were lining up five hours before I was scheduled to sign. The fans were great and so supportive that I stayed for three hours. I would much rather meet fans than sit in my motorcoach and watch television.
I spent some time later relaxing at the motorcoach playing video games. I bought a couple of new games before we left North Carolina and I'm having a hard time pulling myself away. It's a nice outlet to take my mind off racing.
I'm sure I'll have some butterflies when I walk across the stage for driver introductions. But the crew has put a lot of time into the No. 48 car and I've had two great teachers in Jeff (Gordon) and Chad (Knaus, crew chief). We have the tools to succeed, our plan is to go out there Sunday and prove it.
Note: Jimmie Johnson drives the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports and is a rookie in NASCAR's Winston Cup series.
Earnhardt Jr. wants to be taken seriously
By DAVID POOLE & JEFF SINER
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. There were times, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admits, when he thought it might all come crashing down. His father, Dale Earnhardt, had died in a wreck on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, leaving as big of a void in stock-car racing as it had in Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company Earnhardt had built to provide his family a place in the sport's future.
"There were concerns in my mind that we'd collapse and I'd be looking for a job somewhere," Earnhardt Jr. says. "That didn't happen, but it could have. It was very real."
In just his third season in Winston Cup, NASCAR's top series, the 27-year-old from Kannapolis is already among his sport's most popular stars. He comes into Sunday's Daytona 500, the circuit's most important race, off a fan-pleasing victory Saturday in a 300-mile Grand National series event. He was driving the No. 3 Chevrolet, the same number his father made a legend.
As he learns to deal with the demands of racing stardom, Earnhardt Jr. also finds himself moving into new phases of his business and personal life.
And he's doing it without a very important safety net.
"When my dad was here I could just about do whatever I wanted to and get away with it," Earnhardt Jr. says. "I always had him to fall back on. ... Now I don't have anything to fall back on except how I do it. It's going to reflect on me instead of my father. Before, if I didn't do something right it was his fault."
Earnhardt Jr. is not facing this new world alone, of course.
Earnhardt Jr. knew his stepmother, Teresa, had an iron will and a steely determination. But he also knew the burden she would carry in running DEI, which fields three race teams in NASCAR's top-level Winston Cup series.
All three of those cars will race Sunday in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt Jr. starts fifth, with teammates Michael Waltrip starting fourth and Kenny Wallace starting 18th.
While it took his father 20 tries to win this race, Earnhardt Jr. is among the favorites in just his third Daytona 500.
After finishing second to Waltrip in the ill-fated Daytona 500 last year, he came back for a goose bump-producing triumph in the 2.5-mile track's July race. Earnhardt Jr. also won in October at Talladega, the only other race on the circuit where cars run with speed-reducing restrictor plates on their engines.
No matter where he finishes, however, Earnhardt Jr. believes the very fact that DEI has made it through the year since his father's death on Feb. 18, 2001, is a victory.
"I think we've kind of gotten over the hump of whether we were going to make it," he says. "Just by getting back here to Daytona, getting going again the next season. If we can do it one time, we know we can do it 15 times."
Sunday's race is the first of 36 events in NASCAR's nine-month season. The cars racing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend all have crash data recorders on board, and all of the drivers racing in the Winston Cup, Grand National and Truck series events this year must wear a head-and-neck restraint.
Those changes are on a long list of rules modifications made since Earnhardt's wreck last year. NASCAR is involved in research into energy-absorbing walls and later this year will move into a 45,000-square-foot research and development facility in Concord. There, NASCAR plans to work on design improvements to make race cars safer.
The sport's changed attitude about safety issues may well become part of Earnhardt's legacy, just like the seven championships that tie him with Richard Petty for the most in Winston Cup history.
That championship record is under assault by Jeff Gordon, who last year won his fourth title at age 30. Earnhardt Jr., may just be good enough to stand in the way. He was eighth in the points standings last year, with three victories.
Earnhardt Jr. is already one of the sport's most marketable stars. He has been interviewed in Playboy and Rolling Stone magazines and is on the cover of the current issue of TV Guide. He was a presenter on MTV's Video Music Awards last year. Along with press aide Jade Gurss, Earnhardt Jr. has turned a first-person account of the 2000 season into a book called "Driver #8" that's clawing for a spot on best-seller lists.
But while he still wears his blue jeans baggy and his baseball caps with the bill pointing backward, he's moving into a new phase of his life.
Competitively, he wants to be taken seriously.
"I read in a magazine (that) I had a real good opportunity to run well in the championship this season if I wanted it bad enough or if I was serious enough about it," he says. "It said I had a tendency to slack off away from the race track to where my focus wasn't there on the weekends like I only put forth 80 percent. I just wanted to make it clear that's not the case."
When he was a Winston Cup rookie in 2000, all anyone wanted to talk about was the nightclub he had built into the basement of his home, a place to party with his friends. This year, the Super Bowl commercial Earnhardt Jr. did for primary sponsor Budweiser had him acting as a designated driver, ferrying home a party-goer in his No. 8 race car.
"I go out and party with my friends, but I'm going to tell you what, I've seen a lot of drivers out there partying," Earnhardt Jr. says. "I'm not doing anything nobody else is. I don't keep it private. I don't hide it from everybody. I do it responsibly and I know when I need to straighten up because I've got to race. I think I've got my head on straight."
Hank Parker Jr., a driver in NASCAR's Grand National series and one of Earnhardt Jr.'s longtime friends, agrees.
"Inside, he's always been very serious," Parker says. "Sometimes his persona throws off this idea that he's just there and having a good time. I think he just enjoys what he's doing so much that it makes you feel like he's goofing off. But he's very intense and very serious about what he does. When he has his time off, he's serious about that, too."
Earnhardt Jr. has matured markedly since his father's death. He admits he pays more attention now to what he wears, what he says, what he does and whom he does it with.
"I got a lot of advice from my father and I probably rely on that now more than ever," Earnhardt Jr. says. "I still hear him when I am in certain situations; I know what his opinion would be about it."
Ty Norris, executive vice president for motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says it took Earnhardt Jr. a while to figure out his role after his father's death.
"Before last year, Dale Jr. didn't have to be the guy," Norris says. "Dale was taking care of the money side, the personnel side, he was dealing with the day-to-day issues and signing the checks. He was the guy who said this is where you have to be, this is what time you have to be there, this is how you're going to get there and this is where you're going to sit when you get there.
"Dale Jr. didn't have to think; he didn't want to. He just wanted to go drive. Last year, he felt like it all fell on his shoulders immediately and then he started to panic thinking he wasn't ready for it."
He didn't have to be, Norris says.
"Dale Jr. finally realized he didn't have to run the place, to be there every minute of every day," Norris says. "His role was to be successful on the track. That's what he has to focus on, being involved with this race team, with what's going on at the shop and to take care of the sponsors and drive his butt off when it comes time to go.
"If he keeps doing his job on the race track, that's what is going to make that business run."
The on-track pressure of being an Earnhardt is enough of a burden.
In Saturday's Grand National victory, he brought his father's car number back to the track for the first time since last year's tragedy. He will drive that car again in a Grand National series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte in May.
"Dale Jr. has a tremendous amount of responsibility to help carry the DEI legacy on, and he carries it well," Richard Childress says.
"It's hard walking in the shadow of greatness, and he has done it well."
Sunday, the spotlight is on him so brightly that he no longer can stand in any kind of shadow. He has inherited the loyalty of many of those who pulled for his dad, and his own "redneck hip-hop" persona is reaching a new generation of fans.
Earnhardt Jr. is the closest thing NASCAR has to a rock star, and that demands time and energy. Two years ago Earnhardt Jr. struggled with those demands, but now he has made peace with them.
"If you go to a sponsor's appearance and have a bad outlook on it, it's not going to be fun," he says. "You're going to be sitting there watching the clock tick and waiting on two hours to wind down so you can get out of there. If you go with an attitude that you can't wait to meet some of the race fans because they're all unique and there's always something fun they've got to say, that can make it enjoyable."
It helped that people gave him room last year as he dealt with his father's death. That gave him a legitimate reason to say "no" sometimes, and helped him learn when that was a proper response.
"I think he's a lot more aware of his opportunities," Parker says. "Not that he ever took it for granted, but I think he realizes a little more how good his situation really is."
Down the road, Earnhardt Jr. says he might like to have more of a hand in the business side of the sport. For now, though, that job isn't open at DEI.
"I don't know if it's possible to become the boss," Earnhardt Jr. says. "As long as Teresa is around I think she's going to be the boss."
Teresa Earnhardt has made only a handful of brief public appearances since her husband's death, fighting to keep Earnhardt's autopsy photos private, accepting the National Motorsports Press Association's Most Popular Driver award on Earnhardt's behalf and, last week, attending the unveiling of a sculpture honoring Earnhardt at the speedway where Sunday's race will be run.
Earnhardt's widow has given no formal interviews since Feb. 18 last year, having them turned down on her behalf with the explanation she needs time before she's ready to talk.
"She's doing a great job; she's carrying such a heavy load I can't even begin to understand it myself," Earnhardt Jr. says. "She always has been a pretty strong person. She's not a really open person who shows a whole lot of emotions, but she appreciates and knows what I am thinking most of the time. If she knows something is bothering me we don't have to talk about it, she just knows the answers."
Earnhardt Jr. says the quality he most admired about his father was the respect he had from his fellow competitors, which was displayed when Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500 in 1998. In one of the sport's signature moments, crewmen from virtually every team lined up along pit road to congratulate him.
Earnhardt Jr. wants that same kind of respect in racing.
He also wants more. He has seen friends such as Parker get married and looks forward to starting a family of his own.
"I can't fool myself into thinking I don't envy what they've got and the future they're going to have," Earnhardt Jr. says. "It would be nice to be a part of that with somebody. And I definitely want to have a little son who I can take to the race track and when he's old enough, to know what's going on. I don't want to be retired by then."
Racing, despite the turmoil of the past year, still excites Earnhardt Jr. Just like his father, he doesn't love to race nearly as much as he loves to win.
But it's not everything he lives for.
"Some people in racing or whatever it may be can really sink everything they've got into it and just be totally dedicated to it and it might work for them," he says. "That's not the way I want to live my life.
"I've only got one; it's not like I can do it over again. So I am going to do it like I want to."
A Special Poem that we Received:
DO YOU EVER QUESTION
>AS YOU SIT IN THE STANDS >THUNDERS OF RUBBER AND STEEL GO BY >GAS FUMES FLOW THRU THE AIR >YOUR THROAT GO OH SO DRY
>FANS ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEATS >OR ON THEIR FEET THOUSANDS STRONG >DO YOU EVER QUESTION THE DRIVERS WHY >DO YOU NOT SEE THIS IS WHERE THEY BELONG
>SO MANY THRU OUT THE PASSING YEARS >GOOD MEN WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST >THE FANS THE FRIENDS AND MOST OF ALL >THE FAMILIES WHOSE WORLDS HAVE BEEN TOSSED
>BONNETT, ROBERTS, THE ALLISIONS >PETTY, EARNHART AND OH SO MANY MORE >WHO HAVE LEFT THIS WORLD TO ENTER >VICTORY LANE'S GOLDEN HEAVENLY DOOR
>IT IS PLANTED IN THEIR MINDS >DEEP SEEDED IN THEIR HEARTS >EACH FAN AND CERTAINLY EACH DRIVER >FROM THE VERY FIRST GREEN FLAG START
>SO IF THERE IS EVER ANY WONDER >ABOUT THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON DRIVE >AS THE DRIVER PULLS INTO VICTORY LANE >CAN YOU STILL QUESTION THE LOOK OF PRIDE.
11 #5 Terry Labonte Chevrolet Kellogg's - - - 12 #31 Robby Gordon Chevrolet Cingular Wireless - - - 13 #40 Sterling Marlin Dodge Coors Light - - - 14 #71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet Realtree Camouflage - - - 15 #97 Kurt Busch Ford Rubbermaid - - - 16 #43 John Andretti Dodge Cheerios - - - 17 #33 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Autoliv - - - 18 #1 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Pennzoil - - - 19 #22 Ward Burton Dodge Caterpillar - - - 20 #4 Mike Skinner Chevrolet Kodak
21 #88 Dale Jarrett Ford UPS - - -
22 #66 Todd Bodine Ford Kmart - - -
23 #12 Ryan Newman* Ford ALLTEL - - -
24 #14 Stacy Compton Pontiac Conseco - - -
25 #26 Joe Nemechek Ford Kmart School Spirit - - -
26 #7 Casey Atwood Dodge Sirius Satellite Radio - - -
27 #11 Brett Bodine Ford Wells Fargo Financial/Timberland - - -
28 #19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW - - -
29 #9 Bill Elliott Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW - - -
30 #30 Jeff Green Chevrolet America Online - - -
31 #92 Robert Pressley Dodge BrandSource.com - - -
32 #55 Bobby Hamilton Chevrolet Schneider Electric - - -
33 #99 Jeff Burton Ford CITGO Racing - - -
34 #45 Kyle Petty Dodge Sprint - - -
35 #09 Geoffrey Bodine Ford Miccosukee Indian Gaming - - -
36 #49 Shawna Robinson Dodge BAM Racing - - -
Shawna Robinson (49) swerves to avoid Jimmy Spencer (41) during one of the Daytona Twin 125s. Robinson made the field for Sunday's race, just the second woman ever to do so.
Michael Waltrip celebrates in victory lane with his daughter Macy, 4, after he won a Gatorade 125 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway
Report From Oklahoma Tidbits, David Smith Jr. on the ASCS Season Opener:
Due to lack of spectator attendance during the events held at the track in the past couple of weeks, Putnam County Speedway officials in Palatka Florida has cancelled the United Expressline American Sprint Car Series National tour opener scheduled for February 15-16th. The ASCS National tour opener will now be held on Saturday night, March 2nd, at Baton Rouge Raceway in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The race will also be the opener for the new ASCS Gulf South regional series
"Rear spoiler heights adjusted on Fords"
NASCAR has announced that a ¼-inch decrease for the rear spoiler height on the Ford Taurus to be used in next month's Daytona 500. Measurements for the rear spoilers on the Ford Taurus will now read at 6 ¼ inches tall by 57 inches wide. The past two weeks during NASCAR Winston Cup Series testing at Daytona, Ford's rear spoiler was 6 ½ inches tall. The Ford and Chevrolet teams now have the same measurements, while the Dodge and Pontiac teams measure at 6 ½ inches tall by 57 inches wide.
State Fair SpeedWay in Oklahoma City is scheduled for their 1st practice and inspection of the season, Sunday, 3 March 2002. I understand practice starts about 2 P.M. and inspections around noon. Also, a 2nd practice and inspection is suppose to be scheduled for Saturday, 9 March 2002 starting about 2 P.M. The season opener is Saturday, 23 March 2002, starting at 3 P.M.
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