Qualifying: Marlin leads Dodge parade

With the Daytona rain in abeyance, if not totally out of the picture, Dodge put in the most impressive qualifying performance of its comeback season, taking the top four slots for Saturday night's Pepsi 400

Qualifying: Marlin leads Dodge parade

Sterling Marlin's Ganassi Racing Intrepid starts on the pole, posting a lap at 183.778mph, with Bill Davis Racing team-leader Ward Burton lining up alongside him after the session was re-arranged from Thursday evening to Friday afternoon and evening. It was Marlin's fifth pole at Daytona and his fourth in the mid-summer 400-mile race.

Thursday's qualifying had been scuppered by torrential rain in central Florida, but NASCAR scheduled a short practice session between the downpours - enough to give Marlin the feeling that his Coors-backed car would be hard to beat over a single lap.

"I felt we had a little bit left," said the Tennessee driver. "And sure enough, we ran about a tenth quicker than we ran last night."

The rain held off for the first 37 cars, but came back again late in the session, forcing a three-hour delay for the final 11 cars to run. Stacy Compton's post-rain lap was good enough for third overall, ahead of Casey Atwood, but he believed the damp air had deprived him of revs. Compton had started second on the grid for February's Daytona 500.

Seventh fastest time for John Andretti added to the sense of a Dodge parade in the offing, but it wasn't entirely good news for the NASCAR Winston Cup's newest marque: Buckshot Jones failed to qualify and had no provisionals to drag him into the field.

Best non-Dodge was points-leader Jeff Gordon, who put his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet fifth fastest, ahead of rookie Andy Houston's Ford.

Joe Nemecheck finally returned to the driving seat seven weeks after injuring himself in testing at Dover and put his Petree Chevrolet an impressive eighth, ahead of Mark Martin's Ford and Kevin Harvick's Chevy.




Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 48.972s, 183.778mph
Ward Burton, Dodge, 49.161
Stacy Compton, Dodge, 49.267
Casey Atwood, Dodge, 49.289
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 49.289
Andy Houston, Ford, 49.368
John Andretti, Dodge, 49.381
Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 49.388
Mark Martin, Ford, 49.413
Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 49.421
Jeff Purvis, Ford, 49.437
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 49.476
Ricky Craven, Ford, 49.472
Dave Blaney, Dodge, 49.538
Matt Kenseth, Ford, 49.559
Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 49.559
Kyle Petty, Dodge, 49.566
Bill Elliott, Dodge, 49.577
Dale Jarrett, Ford, 49.579
Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, 49.580
Ricky Rudd, Ford, 49.586
Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 49.598
Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 49.599
Rusty Wallace, Ford, 49.606
Jason Leffler, Dodge, 49.619
Steve Park, Chevrolet, 49.621
Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 49.630
Kurt Busch, Ford, 49.658
Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 49.659
Jeff Burton, Ford, 49.665
Todd Bodine, Ford, 49.685
Rick Mast, Chevrolet, 49.685
Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 49.687
Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, 49.705
Robert Pressley, Ford, 49.715
Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 49.744
Johnny Benson, Pontiac, Provisional
Elliott Sadler, Ford, Provisional
Ken Schrader, Pontiac, Provisional
Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, Provisional
Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, Provisional
Mike Wallace, Ford, Provisional
Brett Bodine, Ford, Provisional


Buckshot Jones, Dodge
Ron Hornaday, Pontiac
Hut Stricklin, Ford
Mike Bliss, Pontiac
Andy Hillenburg, Pontiac
Arthur Fonzarelli, Edsel Exactamundo-mobile


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