Sutton earns spot in field for race at Daytona

Crownsville woman 34th with speed of 156.661 mph

Auto Racing

February 08, 2002|By Sandra McKee

Crownsville's Kelly Sutton qualified yesterday for the Daytona U.S.A. 150 Goody's Dash race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Driving her Pontiac Sunbird, Sutton placed 34th at 156.661 mph. That speed was nearly 7 mph off the pace set by Larry Caudill's Pontiac, which won the pole for tomorrow's 4 p.m. race with a run of 163.497 mph.

"We're disappointed in our qualifying, but we made some changes to the car and, in practice, we've been able to draft up to speeds of 162 mph," said Sutton, who will be running the entire Dash schedule for the first time and competing for Rookie of the Year honors.

A year ago, Sutton, 30, came to Daytona without any superspeedway experience and turned her dream into reality, qualifying for this race for the first time. She ran as high as 13th before her fuel pump broke, relegating her to 21st.

"I still feel like a rookie," she said. "But I do feel more comfortable in the car and in the draft. I'm a little more used to the closeness of the cars and how they move around."

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