5 August 2006
Press Snoop: Busch paces second Indy practice.
Kurt Busch was fastest in the second NASCAR Nextel Cup practice session Friday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard with a time of 49.440/182.039 mph.
Six drivers were faster than rookie Clint Bowyer, who was third fastest in the first session. He was sixth fastest in the second session, the top Rookie.
Second through fifth were Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Scott Riggs and Ken Schrader. All 50 drivers were on track.
Cheerios announced Friday that Bobby Labonte, winner of the 2000 Brickyard 400, will have Cheerios on board as his sponsor on #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge for years.
Bob Welch, Director of Trade Marketing for General Mills, wouldn't divulge specifics of the contract saying it isn't their policy to do so. But, in answer to a specific question regarding the length of the contract, Welch said that General Mills has been with Petty Enterprises for a long time (six years) and has "every intention of this being a long term relationship" - as had the previous long standing relationship between Petty Enterprises and STP.
The agreement is between General Mills and Petty Enterprises and isn't contingent upon Labonte being the driver, but Cheerios is pleased with Labonte and how he's doing. Welch said that General Mills works closely with Petty Enterprises on "who they bring in" and were interested in their calibre. Cheerios was very pleased when Robbie Loomis, (Executive Vice President of Petty Enterprises) came back.
Another Crossover driver Friday was Chad Chaffin. He is also running the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at O'Reilly Raceway Park in the #59 Eaton Corporation Ford. The Cup Practice session ended at 4:30 pm local time and Truck Qualifying started an hour later.
Chaffin qualified eighteenth for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 Presented by Ford and International Truck race. Bobby Hamilton Jr qualified twelfth, and Mike Skinner qualified eighth.
David Ragan is on the Truck pole with a time of 22.484/109.838 mph. This is his first pole. Ragan shares the Roush Racing truck with Mark Martin, who started it on the pole at the season's opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Starting second through fifth are Rookie Aric Almirola, Rick Crawford, David Starr and Brendan Gaughan.
All but one of the drivers made the field, including Cameron Dodson, running his first ever Truck race with Mike Mittler. Dodson will start thirty-fifth in the 36-truck field running.
The Truck Series has two females running the series, Kelly Sutton, starting twenty-seventh; and Rookie Erin Crocker, starting thirty-third.
The series also boasts two foreign-born drivers, Rookie Marcos Ambrose of Australia who starts nineteenth, and Rookie Michel Jourdain Jr of Mexico starting thirty-third.
ORP is a .686-mile short track oval and the Trucks have run here every year since the series started in 1995.
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