Daytona deja vu as Yates dominates

As the temperature cooled, the pace quickened at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night. When the 45 cars making a run had clocked in, Robert Yates Racing had swept the front row, just as they did in February for the Daytona 500.

Daytona deja vu as Yates dominates

Dale Jarrett's Quality Care Ford Taurus will start from pole for the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night. Jarrett pipped his team mate Ricky Rudd by 0.425 second with a 187.547mph lap of the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

This is Jarrett's third Bud Pole at Daytona. He has two consecutive wins on the superspeedway and will be tied with Cale Yarborough if he is victorious this weekend. Yarborough won three straight Daytona events in July 1967 and swept the 1968 Victory Circle party.

Rudd was the only other driver to break the 187mph mark, as Bill Elliott snapped up the third starting spot with an average speed of 186.865 mph.

Dave Blaney, Mark Martin, Ward Burton, Tony Stewart, Jerry Nadeau, Jeff Burton and Elliott Sadler round out the top-10.

Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champ Dale Earnhardt qualified 18th after a very difficult day getting his Richard Childress Racing Monte Carlo through inspection.

"We were a lot better than practice," said Earnhardt. "It was faster, not what we wanted, but we gained a lot. The things we have to go through here - plates, shocks - I'll be glad to get back to the shorter tracks. One thing we got going for us is we can race good."

Dale Earnhardt Jr, whose car also had major modifications made to it in order to pass tech, didn't make the field in first round. Little E's best time was only quick enough for 30th on a night when the weather was threatening.

Darrell Waltrip, who will make his final appearance at Daytona this weekend, found himself bumped down the line to 31st.

Of the 46 cars scheduled to attempt to qualify, one team decided against making a run. Robby Gordon will attempt to make the field in second round qualifying on Friday, when positions 26 through to 43 will be decided.




Pos, Driver, Car, Lap Time, Speed

Dale Jarrett, Ford, 47.988mph, 187.547mph
Ricky Rudd, Ford, 48.097, 187.122
Bill Elliott, Ford, 48.163, 186.865
Dave Blaney, Pontiac, 48.212, 186.676
Mark Martin, Ford, 48.332, 186.212
Ward Burton, Pontiac, 48.415, 185.893
Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 48.421, 185.870
Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, 48.426, 185.857
Jeff Burton, Ford, 48.457, 185.732
Elliott Sadler, Ford, 48.560, 185.338
Ed Berrier, Ford, 48.574, 185.284
Rusty Wallace, Ford, 48.588, 185.231
Stacy Compton, Ford, 48.616, 185.214
Ken Schrader, Pontiac, 48.628, 185.079
Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 48.635, 185.052
Kyle Petty, Pontiac, 48.637, 185.044
Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 48.658, 184.964
Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 48.678, 184.888
Chad Little, Ford, 48.686, 184.858
Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 48.689, 184.847
Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 48.717, 184.740
Matt Kenseth, Ford, 48.717, 184.740
Robert Pressley, Ford, 48.725, 184.710
Mike Bliss, Pontiac, 48.726, 184.706
Rick Mast, Pontiac, 48.774, 184.525

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