Bubble Day at Daytona

Bubble Day at Daytona

Bubble Day at Daytona
Pete Pistone
Managing Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Get out the slide rule and the calculator, it's time to figure out who will make the Daytona 500 through Thursday's Gatorade Twin 150 qualifying races.

It used to be simple. After the front row was locked in after qualifying, the top fifteen finishers in each of the twins made the race with qualifying speeds then used to fill out the field.

But when NASCAR decided to lock in the Top 35 in owners points to each race, the formula became a bit more complicated.

Now each race really has two spot available for drivers who aren't in the Top 35 or guaranteed a spot in the 500.

Jeremy Mayfield, Ward Burton, A.J. Allmendinger, Kenny Wallace, Mike Bliss, Stanton Barrett, Brandon Whitt, James Hylton and Michael Waltrip are in that group in today's frist race.

David Reutimann, Mike Skinner, Regan Smith, Paul Menard, Kevin Lepage, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers, Frank Kimmel, Eric McClure, Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace and last year's Cinderella story Kirk Shelmerdine make up the second race's list.

Needless to say it's going to be a tough nut to crack for any of these lists to make Sunday's race.

The battle between the independent teams and the high-dollar powerhouses in the NEXTEL Cup garage have made the task to succeed increasingly tougher.

“It’s tough to be successful against so many high-dollar, powerful teams over in the NEXTEL Cup garage,” Shelmerdine said. “The days of the independent driver making it as a regular in Cup racing are dwindling. The big teams have so many resources at their disposal. I've got like three guys full-time. Then we have a half-dozen weekend warriors that come to the racetrack with us.”

Shelmerdine pulled it off a year ago. Thursday afternoon a few more dreams will come true.


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Re: Bubble Day at Daytona

The duels should be fun to watch  ;D

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