Martinsville: Stewart hates track, takes pole...

Tony Stewart has been outspoken about the fact that he doesn't much like Martinsville Speedway due to the tight racing that doesn't leave much sheetmetal unscathed, not to mention the demand the 0.526-mile paperclip-shaped track puts on the equipment. But Stewart may have to recall some of his remarks as his qualifying lap around the track in 19.855s (95.371mph) broke his own record set in April 1999 of 19.875s.

Martinsville: Stewart hates track, takes pole...

This is Stewart's fourth series career Bud Pole and his second of the 2000 season. His other pole came at Pocono Raceway in July.

"We had a great car all day," Stewart said, "but this hasn't been one of my favorite race tracks. I've just never gotten around here very well, that's for sure. You've got to hit your marks every lap to be good here.

"But even if you have the fastest car, this can be a real rough place," he added. "This is a tough track for me. This is probably the toughest track I've tried to conquer. I get very impatient and that's what causes me a lot of problems here. I have to learn to be patient and take care of my equipment."

Rusty Wallace qualified second with a lap completed in 19.862s (95.338 mph), followed by Jeff Burton's 19.866s effort at 95.319 mph. The top-three bettered Stewart's 1999 record and led the closest top 25 in the 53 years Martinsville Speedway has hosted NASCAR Winston Cup Series events - amazingly, just 0.182s and 0.866 mph separate the top 25 locked in during the first round of qualifying.

Dale Earnhardt, second in NASCAR Winston Cup points, qualified 12th and current points leader Bobby Labonte will start14th on the grid. Labonte has a 249-point edge with seven races remaining.

The grid will be set on Saturday morning after second round qualifying to complete the 43-car field.



Martinsville Speedway
September 29, 2000

Pos # Driver Make Time Speed
ROW 1
1 20 Tony Stewart Pont 19.855 95.371
2 2 Rusty Wallace Ford 19.862 95.338
ROW 2
3 99 Jeff Burton Ford 19.866 95.319
4 22 Ward Burton Pont 19.896 95.175
ROW 3
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chev 19.898 95.165
6 55 Kenny Wallace Chev 19.905 95.132
ROW 4
7 4 Bobby Hamilton Chev 19.926 95.032
8 31 Mike Skinner Chev 19.928 95.022
ROW 5
9 11 Brett Bodine Ford 19.952 94.908
10 1 Steve Park Chev 19.962 94.860
ROW 6
11 28 Ricky Rudd Ford 19.964 94.851
12 3 Dale Earnhardt Chev 19.972 94.813
ROW 7
13 25 Jerry Nadeau Chev 19.976 94.794
14 18 Bobby Labonte Pont 19.978 94.784
ROW 8
15 01 Ted Musgrave Chev 19.990 94.727
16 77 Robert Pressley Ford 19.995 94.704
ROW 9
17 75 Wally Dallenabch Ford 20.000 94.680
18 66 Darrell Waltrip Ford 20.010 94.633
ROW 10
19 14 Rick Mast Pont 20.012 94.623
20 94 Bill Elliott Ford 20.015 94.609
ROW 11
21 93 Dave Blaney Pont 20.020 94.585
22 19 Casey Atwood Ford 20.023 94.571
ROW 12
23 6 Mark Martin Ford 20.026 94.557
24 33 Joe Nemechek Chev 20.032 94.529
ROW 13
25 26 Jimmy Spencer Ford 20.037 94.505

DID NOT QUALIFY DURING 1ST ROUND:
26 27 Mike Bliss Pont 20.038 94.500
27 45 Kyle Petty Pont 20.040 94.491
28 43 John Andretti Pont 20.043 94.477
29 90 Hut Stricklin Ford 20.045 94.467
30 9 Stacy Compton Ford 20.061 94.392
31 88 Dale Jarrett Ford 20.081 94.298
32 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chev 20.091 94.251
33 10 Johnny Benson Pont 20.098 94.218
34 40 Sterling Marlin Chev 20.106 94.181
35 60 Rich Bickle Chev 20.115 94.139
36 12 Jeremy Mayfield Ford 20.117 94.129
37 50 Ricky Craven Chev 20.124 94.097
38 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 20.158 93.939
39 32 Scott Pruett Ford 20.160 93.929
40 44 Steve Grissom Pont 20.163 93.915
41 5 Terry Labonte Chev 20.170 93.882
42 16 Kevin Lepage Ford 20.212 93.687
43 97 Kurt Busch Ford 20.238 93.567
44 7 Michael Waltrip Chev 20.260 93.465
45 21 Elliott Sadler Ford 20.297 93.295
46 36 Ken Schrader Pont 20.326 93.161
47 71 Dave Marcis Chev 20.397 92.837
48 85 Carl Long Ford 20.417 92.746

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