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Archive for Sunday, June 23, 2002

Polesitter prefers former track

Facelift at Save Mart 350 oval takes away landmarks

June 23, 2002

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— The newly named Infineon Raceway's $50 million facelift has robbed drivers of familiar navigational landmarks a guardrail where they brake and a flag point where they gun it.

Polesitter Tony Stewart used a pedestrian bridge as a gauge when he won a year ago at the track formerly knows as Sears Point Raceway.

"The bridge was gone," he said after Friday's practice. "I about drove off the race course the first hard lap through there. I was like, 'Where is my bridge at?"'

The pedestrian bridge across the track now a pedestrian tunnel is among the changes the drivers who didn't test at Sears Point had two hours of practice time to adapt to before Sunday's Dodge-Save Mart 350 Winston Cup race.

Busch will start next to Stewart today, followed by Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott and Matt Kenseth. Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace, Robby Gordon and Boris Said complete the top 10.

Stewart said his was as good here as it was last June.

"It's just a matter of me getting used to the new configuration," he said. "The rest of it was all scenery changes and it was hard to find braking points."

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