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NASCAR-BGN: Points Leader Elton Sawyer Hopes Chevrolet Holds Key to Victory at Talladega

22 April 1999

TALLADEGA, Ala. NASCAR Busch Series points leader Elton Sawyer, driver of the Lysol Ford, will get behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car during Saturdays race at Talladega Superspeedway. For the second and final time this season, Sawyer will drive a Chevrolet instead of a Ford in a Busch Series event.

At the beginning of this season, team owner Brad Akins, Sawyer and teammate Glenn Allen decided that to be more competitive in the two restrictor-plate races Daytona and Talladega both teams would enter Chevrolet Monte Carlos instead of Ford Tauruses.

The Taurus body just has too much drag, Sawyer said. For us to stay consistent and up in the points, we decided to go to the Monte Carlo. It has an aerodynamic advantage over the Taurus.

In the season-opener at Daytona, the Lysol team used a provisional to start 38th. Sawyer was involved in an early-race accident but managed a 21st-place finish.

I feel that we will run better at Talladega than at Daytona, Sawyer said. We had trouble with our qualifying motor, and that put us in a bad situation with our starting position. This weekend, I think we will be able to run stronger and show what we really have."

After Saturdays race, Akins Motorsports will be ready to begin preparing Tauruses for the 2000 season so it will not have to switch cars for restrictor-plate races.

Our goal is to focus on the Taurus and run Fords at both restrictor-plate tracks next year, Sawyer said. We will have more technology to pull from since we will have two full years of information. Improving our cars at these tracks is a strong priority.

First round qualifying for the Touchstone Energy 300 is Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT), and second round is Friday at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). Radio coverage will begin Saturday on MRN at 3:15 p.m. (EDT), and ABC will begin its broadcast at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

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