Rare miss leaves Worsham as "also ran" after one day
Memphis, Friday: Del Worsham has been qualifying so well, and so consistently, since early in the summer, he almost couldn't remember the last time he finished Friday in the group of "also ran" competitors left below the 12th place cut-line. After a soft pass under the afternoon sun was followed by an aggressive shot at the top when the sun was setting, the Checker, Schuck's, Kragen Chevy spun the tires just past half-track, leaving Worsham with the 17th-best time on the day. Of course, once the qualifying procedure was changed this year, a 13th, 17th, or 20th spot all ranks the same, as any driver below the 12th spot is simply part of a group with no valid time.
"We've been aggressive, on purpose, for the last couple of races, but I'll admit I was actually pretty nervous about the tune-up tonight," Worsham said. "We had it set on 'Kill' pretty much, and it was going to be one of those 'If it makes it, it will be huge' deals. Unfortunately, it got out there and just had too much in it to stick. It was hopped up at the hit, hopped up all the way, and too hopped up around 660-feet. There wasn't much for it to do, at that point, other than spin the tires. We didn't miss on the tune-up, as much as we missed on what the track would hold at that particular moment. I guess you can just say we were trying to run something like a 4.05 on a track that had a 4.07 for the pole tonight.
"So, for the first time since after we DNQd back in Chicago, we'll probably have a double-digit qualifying slot, after a long string of single-digits. It's going to be hard to do anything more than land in one of the last four spots in the heat, but who knows, maybe we can get up to the middle of the pack. Actually, we've been qualifying so well but still not winning many rounds, so we might as well try it from the other end of the deal. Maybe we'll land 13th and win the whole thing."
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