Clifton Starts Up Front for Tucson 200
Double-File Restart Rule weighs heavy on his mind.

(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) Bowman Gray Stadium starts off with a bang tonight - it’s the season-opening Tucson 200. The 200-lapper for the Farm Bureau Insurance Modified Series is the longest race, the highest paying race – and the stage is set for it to be the most exciting race of the season.
           Michael Clifton of Walkertown turned the fastest lap during last night’s qualifying session, placing him on the pole with Randy Butner of Pfafftown on the outside pole. Clifton himself seemed pleasantly surprised that he performed so well. “Our biggest concern was getting in the top 10. I had no idea we’d be sitting on the pole, but the car felt real good,” said Clifton.
           Clifton may be a little nervous knowing that Burt Myers of Walnut Cove is starting on the inside second row – right on Clifton’s bumper. But the real worry for Clifton is the new rule change for this season which will have the Tucson 200 utilizing the “Double-File Choice Restart Rule.”
           “This double-file restart has me a little concerned.  I’m just going to try to stay out of trouble,” said Clifton. The new system, however, will give ample opportunity for other competitors to make their way through the field, including last year’s Champion Tim Brown, who will start in fifth. “On the restarts, you’re going to have to be on your game. You’re going to have to be there at the end,” said Clifton.
           Many are curious to see how the new restart rule will affect the pace of the race. In many past races, competitors would conserve their tires and hope that they could stay in front of their challengers. But with a double-file restart, drivers may not have the option of taking it easy.
           Clifton intends to go as hard as he can the entire time and let his tires take care of themselves. “I’m going to go wide open from the start. You might as well go ahead and go for it,” said Clifton.
Clifton will have 200 laps and 19 other competitors between him and the first checkered flag of the season. It should be an exciting start to 2009.
           The top 10 qualifiers locked in their starting position on Friday night. There will be another round of qualifying tonight to determine positions 11 through 24. Competitors may choose to stand on their times from Friday night or scrap their time and requalify tonight.
Ticket gates open at 6:00 for practice. The first race starts at 8:00. For more information, visit www.bowmangrayracing.com.

 

Qualifying for Tucson 200 – Friday Night, April 24

Rank

Time

Car

Driver

Hometown

1

13.261

50

Michael Clifton

Walkertown, NC

2

13.267

5

Randy Butner

Pfafftown, NC

3

13.267

1

Burt Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

4

13.332

72

Brent Elliott

Denton, NC

5

13.368

83

Tim Brown

Cana, VA

6

13.409

4

Jason Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

7

13.413

69

Junior Miller

Danbury, NC

8

13.421

75

Robert Jeffreys

Winston-Salem, NC

9

13.443

77

Lee Jeffreys

High Point, NC

10

13.499

40

Brad Robbins

Winston-Salem, NC

11

13.524

20

Jeremy Stoltz

Walkertown, NC

12

13.547

53

Jonathan Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

13

13.558

13

Chris Fleming

Mount Airy. NC

14

13.618

70

Alfred Hill

Jonesville, NC

15

13.661

28

Mike Adams

Winston-Salem, NC

16

13.735

3

Terry Gaither

Walkertown, NC

17

13.905

99

Kevin Powell

Winston-Salem, NC

18

13.936

31

Gene Pack

Walkertown, NC

19

14.155

51

Stan Welborn

Germanton, NC

20

14.375

45

Lee Stimpson

Lewisville, NC