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Stricklin speeds up in Daytona qualifying

DAYTONA BEACH - Hut Stricklin was the fastest second-day qualifier for the Daytona 500, moving up 12 spots on the speed list Monday. The Calera, Ala., driver, Donnie Allison's son-in-law, topped 24 drivers who turned qualifying laps Monday on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway oval.

Stricklin, starting his second full season in NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing, improved to 193.175 mph from the 191.286 he ran Saturday in the opening round of time trials.

The lap was still far behind the 196.515 posted Saturday by Ken Schrader, who earned his third straight Daytona 500 pole, but it moved Stricklin from 28th to 16th on the list of speeds.

Only Schrader and Dale Earnhardt, who was second fastest at 195.767, locked in starting positions for Sunday's $2-million, 500-mile race.

The rest of the qualifying speeds posted Saturday, Monday and today will determine the starting lineups for Thursday's twin 125-mile qualifying races.

ARCA driver remains 'critical'

DAYTONA BEACH - Julius "Slick" Johnson remained in critical condition and attached to a respirator Monday, one day after sustaining head injuries in a crash during the ARCA 200 stock car race at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson, 41, was being given medication to maintain his blood pressure, and a spokesman at Halifax Medical Center said further brain scans were planned.

Johnson's Pontiac Grand Prix was struck three times during a melee in the fourth turn that apparently was sparked when he slid out of control.

Mike Staley, a track safety worker, also was injured in a related incident. He was listed in serious but stable condition Monday at Halifax with a fractured and burned left forearm.