Daytona 500 notebook: Ganassi drivers eye better results in qualifying duels
Auto Racing Videos
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Fox Chapel native Chip Ganassi wasn't overly pleased with his drivers' performances during qualifying for the Daytona 500. But he knows the real challenge awaits his team in the qualifying duels Thursday.
Only pole winner Danica Patrick and three-time champion Jeff Gordon on Sunday guaranteed their starting positions.
Montoya and McMurray, who didn't have a top-5 finish between them last season, will try to fight their way toward the lead pack on the starting grid during the 150-mile dual races.
• Patrick watched anxiously as her boyfriend, rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr., threatened to bump her off the pole. But Stenhouse got loose in Turn 2 and couldn't recover quickly enough to challenge her. “The car was as good as it's been all weekend as far as speed,” Stenhouse said. “The guys did a good job of getting the car ready between practice and qualifying.” Patrick, who finished third in the Indianapolis 500 in 2009, said it wouldn't have mattered had Stenhouse worked his way on the front row. However, she acknowledged it would have been interesting with the two of them racing side by side at the start of The Great American Race. “No, he's never been another number,” Patrick said. “He's always been someone who has helped me and given me advice. He's always been fair to me on the track.”
• Stewart-Haas Racing bested Hendrick Motorsports using Hendrick engines. Stewart-Hass drivers posted the fastest lap (Patrick) and fourth- and fifth-fastest (Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, respectively). Hendrick was second (Jeff Gordon), sixth (Kasey Kahne), 11th (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and 21st (Jimmie Johnson). “I don't think we're doing anything different than the Hendrick cars,” Stewart said. “But we've been working for years to find something for the restrictor-plate races.”
• It shouldn't have come as a surprise that Patrick won the pole. She turned the fastest lap (196.220 mph) during Saturday practice sessions.
• Michael Waltrip, Aric Almirola, Johnson and Kahne were among 1,400 participants in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Johnson posted the best time among the Sprint Cup drivers with a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 48 seconds.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Martin not concerned about expiring contract
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger hurting after big hit
- Police: Barracks ambush suspect sought mass murder
- Auditor General to expand Education audit to include Tomalis
- E-68 respiratory virus identified in Pennsylvania
- Southmoreland student injured in school assault
- State awards six Western Pennsylvania schools mentoring grants
- Former Pirates pitcher Tekulve doing well after heart transplant
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle quiet on rotation plans
- Improved economy drives first decline in the national poverty rate in 7 years
- Pennsylvania fiscal officers say budget in dire situation