Substitute Hillin rebounds in qualifier to improve spot in...


July 27, 1991

Substitute Hillin rebounds in qualifier to improve spot in 0) DieHard

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Bobby Hillin Jr., a long-term substitute for the injured Kyle Petty, made a big jump yesterday to lead second-day qualifying for tomorrow's DieHard 500 NASCAR stock car race.

Hillin drove the SABCO Racing Pontiac to a fast lap of 188.426 mph on the 2.66-mile, high-banked Talladega Superspeedway oval, earning the 21st spot in the 41-car lineup.

The gain for Hillin, whose only Winston Cup victory came in this race in 1986, was impressive over Thursday's disappointing 184.569, which left him 38th after the opening round of time trials.

"This ought to put us pretty decent for the race," Hillin said. "It's a lot better race car than a qualifier."

Gary Nelson, SABCO's team manager, said: "This is about where we thought we'd be [Thursday]. It took us an extra day to do it. . . . We picked up about a second.

"We changed motors; we changed every possible part on the car. I don't really know what made us better, but maybe a little bit of everything. But it's better than going the other way. We've been going since 6 a.m. and finally got a little bit of progress. The hard work pays off, I guess."

Morgan Shepherd, who was among 13 drivers who stood on their Thursday laps, slipped one position to 22nd, followed by Stanley Smith, who jumped from 186.177 to 187.090 to move up six positions.

The next eight drivers stood on their previous laps, with Phil Barkdoll moving up from 185.065 to 186.021 to earn the 32nd position.

Several of the 11 drivers who made qualifying runs yesterday went slower than they did Thursday, including Dave Marcis, who slipped from 180.625 to 179.467 and wound up having to use a provisional qualifying slot to make the race.

Hillin is the 10th different driver to lead second-day qualifying, earning a spot in the wild-card draw for the 1992 Busch Clash for this year's pole winners.

German Grand Prix

HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- Britain's Nigel Mansell set the Motodrom alight with a track record to gain the provisional pole position and pile more pressure on Formula One points leader Ayrton Senna.

Mansell steered his hot Williams-Renault around the 4.2-mile track in 1 minute, 37.467 seconds, a whopping 2.731 seconds faster than Senna's top time last year. Senna's McLaren-Honda teammate Gerhard Berger was third fastest.

Mansell's Williams-Renault teammate Riccardo Patrese of Italy came in third, just edging out defending champion Senna.

Senna was unable to get a second run around a dry Hockenheim Motodrom in his McLaren-Honda after rain turned the 4.227-mile track slippery two-thirds of the way through the session. That forced him to concede the first run to his main rival in the standings.

Senna is leading with 51 points, 18 ahead of Mansell. Patrese trails by an additional 11 points.

Mansell lapped in 1 minute, 37.467 seconds. He stayed well ahead of Berger's McLaren-Honda, which had a time of 1:37.946. Patrese went around in 1:38.146.

Ferrari teammates Jean Alesi and Alain Prost were next.

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