Top 20 is still a race our way inFebruary 10, 2008
After a post-practice engine change left AJ and company without any laps on the new engine, it was going to be a little up in the air and anybody’s guess on how things might shake out for today’s Daytona 500 qualifying.
AJ went out 43rd and turned a lap of 48.538-seconds (185.422-mph) on his second time by. That would put him 19th overall and 8th of the “go- or go-homers”, as well as the 8th Toyota. It would not be good enough to secure his start in next Sunday’s Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, Joe Nemechek, and David Reutimann were the ones of the group to secure a spot.
Both AJ and his Red Bull Racing teammate Brian Vickers will have to race their way in via the Gatorade 150 Duels on Thursday.
“My guys did a great job dealing with the cards we were given yesterday,” said AJ. “We just need more speed and after changing the engine at the end of the day, we didn’t really know where we stood for today. I just wish I wasn’t sitting here for the next couple of days waiting for my next chance. It’s so difficult to race your way in with the duels. So many things, mostly out of your control, can happen-like last year for me.”
Practice resumes this Wednesday at noon for the Gatorade 150s.