Nemechek Takes First Pole

Joe Nemechek has landed his first NASCAR nextel Cup pole position of the season at Michigan International Speedway, just four races before the Chase for the Cup begins

Nemecheck, currently 17th in the points standing, will most likely not be taking part of the Chase, but he hoped the first pole of the season will lead to better race results - after his season best was third at Pocono last month.

"I hope this is a turn for our luck for the season, re're looking forward to good things," Nemechek said, after qualifying his Chevy with a lap of 191.581 mph.

Nemechek, however, nearly lost his maiden 2005 pole, when rain hit the Speedway after 43 of the 48 drivers had already run their qualifying lap.

The rest of the session was delayed by nearly an hour, and any further delay would have meant that the grid would have been set by the points standings, according to NASCAR rules.

"At first I thought I was going to get robbed," Nemechek said, relieved.

Alongside Nemechek on the front row will start Jeff Gordon, with Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch on the second row, in third and fourth respectively.

Points leader Tony Stewart qualified only 36th, but he remained calm about his prospects, having won five races in the last seven and is almost a guarantee to take part in the Chase.

"We're trying to win a Championship," Stewart said. "[The car] was all right. I'm pretty excited and I think it's going to be good for tomorrow."

Pos  Driver              Make        Speed
 1.  Joe Nemechek        Chevrolet   191.530
 2.  Jeff Gordon         Chevrolet   191.352
 3.  Kasey Kahne         Dodge       191.260
 4.  Kyle Busch          Chevrolet   191.047
 5.  Ryan Newman         Dodge       191.022
 6.  Mike Bliss          Chevrolet   190.936
 7.  Brian Vickers       Chevrolet   190.759
 8.  Elliott Sadler      Ford        190.290
 9.  Ricky Rudd          Ford        190.255
10.  Jimmie Johnson      Chevrolet   189.999
11.  Jeremy Mayfield     Dodge       189.943
12.  Carl Edwards        Ford        189.803
13.  Matt Kenseth        Ford        189.718
14.  Mark Martin         Ford        189.499
15.  Tony Raines         Dodge       189.309
16.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet   189.250
17.  Kurt Busch          Ford        189.125
18.  Bobby Labonte       Chevrolet   189.026
19.  Scott Riggs         Chevrolet   188.947
20.  Terry Labonte       Chevrolet   188.818
21.  Stuart Kirby        Chevrolet   188.768
22.  Scott Wimmer        Dodge       188.576
23.  John Andretti       Chevrolet   188.551
24.  Michael Waltrip     Chevrolet   188.501
25.  Dave Blaney         Chevrolet   188.437
26.  Jeff Green          Dodge       188.304
27.  Ken Schrader        Dodge       188.171
28.  Jamie McMurray      Dodge       188.137
29.  Bill Elliott        Dodge       188.127
30.  Casey Mears         Dodge       188.068
31.  Greg Biffle         Ford        188.029
32.  Jimmy Spencer       Ford        187.936
33.  Dale Jarrett        Ford        187.803
34.  Johnny Benson       Chevrolet   187.793
35.  Kyle Petty          Dodge       187.671
36.  Tony Stewart        Chevrolet   187.583
37.  Sterling Marlin     Dodge       187.500
38.  Rusty Wallace       Dodge       187.281
39.  Robby Gordon        Chevrolet   186.998
40.  Jeff Burton         Chevrolet   186.863
41.  Travis Kvapil       Dodge       185.854
42.  Kevin Harvick       Chevrolet   185.529
43.  Bobby Hamilton Jr.  Chevrolet   186.911
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