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Gant back on track after rules violation

It was no surprise Harry Gant led Monday's second-round qualifying for Sunday's Daytona 500.

The surprise was that Gant, who posted the fifth-fastest time Sunday in the opening round of time trials, was back for more Monday, turning a fast lap of 189.693 mph on Daytona International Speedway's 2{-mile oval.

NASCAR officials disallowed his fast lap of 190.702 Sunday, several hours after the run, because the car was found to be a quarter-inch too low.

Asked where the Oldsmobile measured too low, NASCAR Winston Cup director Dick Beaty retorted: "All over." Beaty said there was no further fine or penalty because losing the first-day time was "a pretty good lick."

"Having (Sunday's) time disallowed was no distraction at all," Gant said. "It didn't bother us none. You've got a lot of fast boys up there, so it really doesn't make any difference. It's going to be a long 500-mile race. It doesn't matter where you start."

Gant will start somewhere near the back of one of the fields in Thursday's twin 125-mile qualifying races.

Among seven drivers making their first qualifying runs was A.J. Foyt, who won the race in 1972. Foyt, 56, put himself solidly in contention for his 28th Daytona 500 start with a lap of 187.903.

Only pole-winner Sterling Marlin and teammate Bill Elliott, who took the outside spot on the front row, have clinched starting positions for Sunday's race.

The three days of time trials, concluding today, will determine the lineups for Thursday's qualifying races. Those races will set positions three through 30 for Sunday's race. The rest of the 40-car field will be filled out by the remaining time-trial qualifiers.

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