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Negri puts MSR on Daytona pole

Michael Shank Racing claimed the top two positions in qualifying for the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Oswaldo Negri Jr beating teammate AJ Allmendinger to pole by just 0.009 seconds

Negri, who will share his Riley-Ford with Mark Patterson and Champ Car frontrunners Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal, lapped in 1:40.793 - nearly three seconds faster than last year's pole time.

Riley-Matthews/Bob Stallings Racing's Marc Goossens held the top spot in the early part of the 15-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying session, before the MSR cars edged ahead with in the closing stages.

NASCAR driver Allmendinger beat Negri's first effort by 0.156 seconds, but the Brazilian retaliated with three minutes remaining, pushing his teammate back into second place.

The SunTrust Racing and AIM Autosport entries complete the top five, ahead of last year's Daytona 24 Hours winners Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya, who this season share their Ganassi Riley-Lexus with Memo Rojas and Dario Franchitti.

Reigning Grand-Am series champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty settled for 11th position in the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings car that will be co-driven by NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and 1996 Champ Car title winner Jimmy Vasser.

In the GT class, SpeedSource Mazda driver Sylvain Tremblay beat Christian Montanari's Ferrari 430 to pole position, with TRG driver Spencer Pumpelly the best of the Porsche runners in third.

Leading qualifying positions:

Pos  Drivers                                  Car               Time
 1.  Negri/Patterson/Rahal/Wilson             Ford Riley        1:40.793
 2.  Allmendinger/Frisselle/James/Pew         Ford Riley        1:40.802
 3.  Goossens/Hunter-Reay/Matthews/O'Connell  Pontiac Riley     1:41.041
 4.  Angelelli/Taylor/Taylor/Valiante         Pontiac Riley     1:41.161
 5.  Braun/Frisselle/Ranger/Wilkins           Ford Riley        1:41.413
 6.  Franchitti/Montoya/Pruett/Rojas          Lexus Riley       1:41.505
 7.  Donohue/Law/Rice                         Porsche Riley     1:41.764
 8.  Dalziel/Duno/Enge/Primat                 Pontiac Riley     1:41.878
 9.  Cullin/Gregoire/Plumb/Shovlin/Wahl       BMW Riley         1:41.975
10.  Dixon/Duran/Lloyd/Wheldon                Lexus Riley       1:41.996
11.  Fogarty/Gurney/Johnson/Vasser            Pontiac Riley     1:42.160
12.  Auberlen/Hand/Long/Wallace               Porsche Crawford  1:42.230
13.  Briscoe/Busch/Castroneves                Pontiac Riley     1:42.257
14.  Luhr/McNish/Rockenfeller/Zogaib          Pontiac Riley     1:42.271
15.  Jonsson/Turner/Zonta                     Pontiac Riley     1:42.296
16.  Gardel/Gidley/Gollin/Jaeger              Ford Doran        1:42.526
17.  Barbosa/Borcheller/France/Haywood        Porsche Riley     1:42.816
18.  Lester/Lewis                             Lexus Riley       1:42.936
19.  Bell/Bell/Dallenbach/Kasemets/Schramm    Pontiac Riley     1:43.135
20.  Andretti/Carpenter/Foyt/George/Meira     Porsche Crawford  1:43.342


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