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Blk3GM's Winston Cup News

RAD alliance gets qualifying results
May 28, 1999

CONCORD, N.C. -- Results are finally starting to fly with the new aerodynamic alliance among Richard Childress Racing, Andy Petree Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc.
The six Winston Cup cars fielded by those three teams this week all qualified within the top 15 during Wednesday night's first-round qualifying session for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway outside Charlotte.

Since its inception in December 1998, the alliance (RAD), had concentrated on the development of the 2000 Monte Carlo, but when NASCAR's approval of the new design was delayed, RAD turned its attention to the current Chevrolets in the Winston Cup series.

RAD aero engineer Louis Duncan said Charlotte is the first test of the technology developed though computer simulations, wind tunnel work, track testing and a great deal of ``tweaking.''

And the work has apparently worked, at least in qualifying.

Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader of Andy Petree Racing qualified third and sixth respectively. Dale Earnhardt was 15th and Mike Skinner 11th for Richard Childress Racing. And Steve Park was fifth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. eighth for DEI.

``My goal was to have all six cars in the top five,'' Duncan said. ``You have to always strive for the impossible. I believe the RAD teams will race better on Sunday than we qualified.''

Steve Hmiel, DEI's technical director, said the three Winston Cup teams were in a hole aerodynamically and ``needed to dig ourselves out``

``We'd rather race each other than race the whole crowd,'' Hmiel said. ``Because we expected the new Monte Carlo to come out this year we haven't really worked too much on these current cars. When we realized the new cars weren't coming, we said 'Heck, let's work on what we have now.'

``We feel pretty good about what we are learning and applying it on the race track.''

As do the drivers.

``This is our first car that we have built that uses all RAD technology and as you can see, a top-five qualifying run is pretty good and everyone else ran pretty well also,'' Park said. ``RAD is cool with me.''

Added Earnhardt Jr.: ``I don't know what all they are doing, but (my) car was right Wednesday night.''

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