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Brickyard 400: Field Set for Race; Schrader Fastest in Final Practice

1 August 1998

Ken Schrader
INDIANAPOLIS, July 31, 1998 - Ken Schrader posted the fastest speed Friday afternoon during the final practice before the Brickyard 400, 171.383 mph, and the field for the race was set during a brief second-round qualifying session.

Schrader's best lap in the Skoal Chevrolet was much slower than the pole speed of 179.394 mph posted Thursday by Ernie Irvan, but the track temperature was nearly 50 degrees warmer under sunny skies Friday.

"We thought we were pretty good this morning," Schrader said. "We tried a few things to get better this afternoon and wound up like we did this morning. We feel real good for tomorrow."

Ward Burton was second at 171.301 in the MBNA America Pontiac and Dale Jarrett third at 171.096 in the Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford.

Pole sitter Irvan was only 22nd fastest at 169.233 in the Skittles Pontiac.

"We're all right," Irvan said. "The cars are a little more slippery. We can't control the weather, and it is the same for everyone. I am sure we will be OK."

The fifth annual Brickyard 400 starts at 12:15 p.m. (CDT) Saturday.

Only seven cars made second-round qualifying attempts due to the warm track conditions, and none were fast enough to make the 43-car starting field. Jerry Nadeau was the only driver who participated in second-round qualifying with enough owner points to earn a provisional starting spot.

Drivers failing to make the field were Dan Pardus, Derrike Cope, Loy Allen Jr., Gary Bradberry, Randy MacDonald, Hut Stricklin and Robby Gordon. Pardus crashed during the morning practice, and Bradberry crashed during his second-round qualifying attempt. Both were unhurt.

Defending event champion Ricky Rudd will start 27th in the Tide Ford. 1995 Brickyard 400 champion Dale Earnhardt will start 28th in the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet.

Past NASCAR Winston Cup champions Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip will start 37th and 43rd, respectively. Both drivers needed to use provisional starting spots to make the field.

The average speed of the field is 176.445, an event record.


Broadcast schedule: The Brickyard 400 will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network at 1 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 1. ESPN's "On The Grid" prerace show starts at noon (EDT) Aug. 1, while the IMS Radio Network prerace show starts at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 1.

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