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Press Snoop: Atlanta awash

28 October 2006

Atlanta Motor Speedway had rain all day, washing out all NASCAR and IROC activities on Friday. The pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Bass Pro Shops 500 race was set by owner points, making MATT KENSETH/#17 DeWalt Ford top starter.

The weekend schedule was revised. Saturday Nextel Cup has two practices. The Craftsman Truck Series has a one day event, with a practice, qualifying and race. IROC has its season's finale race, with no prior track sessions. Sunday is the 325-lap Cup race.

Among those who were unable to qualify and therefore ineligible to compete in the Cup race due to lack of any Owner Points was Rookie AJ ALLMENDINGER/#84 Red Bull Toyota, who was hoping to have his first go in a Cup car. He will still have a chance Saturday to run in the Craftsman Truck Series EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 race in #24 Toyota.

Also missing the Cup race are: DERRIKE COPE/#74 Sundance Vacations dodge; KIRK SHELMERDINE/#27 Lilly Trucking Chevrolet; and MIKE SKINNER/#72 Dutch Quality Chevrolet.

Meanwhile, in Memphis, the Busch Series had better weather and completed two practice sessions.

Busch Qualifying is Saturday and JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/#42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge is forty-ninth to qualify, out of a field of 50. Seven drivers will not make the field.

In the first practice, Montoya was fourth of the 48 drivers on the track. JOHNNY SAUTER/#00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet was fastest.

Brother Sauter, JAY SAUTER/#1 Western Union Chevrolet was fastest in the second session, while Montoya was eighth out of 50 drivers. JPM is one of three international drivers entered. DJ KENNINGTON/#72 Northern Provincial Pipelines Chevrolet is from Ontario Canada, and CARLOS CONTRERAS/#112 Supercuts Dodge is from Mexico City.

A side of JPM not seen in Formula One is on the NASCAR website - Montoya with a broad, open friendly smile. And he can't get over KEVIN HARVICK coming over to him and his race car in the garage, and offering his opinion on how Montoya's Dodge could be improved. Montoya finds the garage friendly and not at all like Formula One.

Saturday is a busy race day. Busch Series is at Memphis at 2pm ET, while at Atlanta Motor Speedway, IROC races at 3pm ET followed by the Craftsman Trucks at 4:30 pm.


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