Pre-race at Homestead
15 November 2003
Larry Foyt kicked some butt at the track today!!! Despite running 41st out of 48 drivers during practice (best lap - 30.436 seconds at 177.421 MPH, 0.832 seconds behind session leader Jeff Gordon), Larry rallied back and qualified 12th!!! He ran a 30.187-second lap at 178.885 MPH, which was 0.371 seconds off polewinner Jamie McMurray's time. That's his best start all season! Way to go, Larry!
Momentum is a precious thing.
In each of the last two races, Larry Foyt and the No. 14 Harrah's Racing team finished a season-high 28th. They carried that momentum to south Florida by qualifying a season-high 12th for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Foyt's previous best qualifying effort was 14th at Michigan International Speedway. Jamie McMurray won the pole for the final event of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season.
"That's a good start to the weekend," said Foyt. "It's great. For all my guys, that was really for them. They said 'Hey, we don't need this car. Bring back a steering wheel or put it in the show' and I said you got it. They've stood behind me all year and it's great for them.
"I really need to thank Evernham Motorsports for all their support today. They helped us out a lot with the engine and setup of the car."
Without a provisional to fall back on and after posting the 41st quickest time in practice this morning, Foyt left the No. 14 crew a little uneasy about their chances of making the race.
"I told them not to worry before we qualified because we had it in the bag," said Foyt. "I knew we would be fine, but I didn't expect this. I wish we could line up and start the race right now!"
Unfortuantely for Foyt, he'll have to wait until Sunday. The race can be seen on NBC starting at 12:30 PM ET.
Note: Larry Foyt qualified a career best 11th at Homestead. His previous best start was 14th at the June race in Michigan. He makes his 20th career Winston Cup start in Sunday's race.
"That's a good start to the weekend. It's great. For all my guys, that was really for them. They said 'Hey, we don't need this car. Bring back a steering wheel or put it in the show' and I said you got it. They've stood behind me all year and it's great for them. I've got to thank Ray Evernham. His guys worked so hard to give us a great engine here and Sammy Johns has been over here helping us today and that helps us out so much. My crew chief Ben Holm has stepped up and he's done a great job. It feels good. We ended up 11th, almost a top-10, and I'll take it. That's great for us. It's definitely a good feeling right now. It's awesome how many people from different teams came over and other drivers came over and said 'Awesome job.' A lot of guys in this sport have been there. They've been in a struggle. For us this is definitely the start of a good weekend and hopefully we can finish it out good."
He sounds so excited about the race! That's great to hear! Can't wait to see what he's got on Sunday!!