Qualifying: Bodine heads Carter one-two

Team owner Travis Carter pulled off a sweep of the front row for Sunday's Tropicana 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Qualifying: Bodine heads Carter one-two

Todd Bodine won the pole, lapping the Chicagoland Speedway at 183.717mph, setting the track qualifying record. This was Bodine's second career pole in 127 NASCAR Winston Cup races. His most recent pole came at Watkins Glen in 1997.

Bodine's teammate, Jimmy Spencer, had the second-fastest time with a qualifying lap at 183.411mph. Both were driving Ford Taurus race cars owned and prepared by Carter/Haas Racing. CART team owner Carl Haas is the co-owner of that team.

"I think it's great. To come to a new race track in a different part of the country (and do this) is a tremendous accomplishment for us," Carter said. "We have had tremendous equipment this year, but haven't done as well as we could, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come."

This is Bodine's sixth top 10 start in 2001 but his first in the last seven races.

"We had a lot of bad luck and made some mistakes earlier in the year that cost us," Bodine said. "We stopped making mistakes now and hopefully that will carry through for Sunday. We have qualified well this year with this car and qualified well in the Busch Series and I hope it proves that I can do this."

Spencer said his qualifying run came after the team made a few changes that didn't work, so they went back to a set-up that was more successful.

"We tested the Winston Cup car and put the car back to where we tested with yesterday's set-up, so we put it right back where we were," Spencer said. "We made a little mistake going into the third turn, thought we could get it a little quicker, but oh well, here we are.

"I think it's great that we have two cars on the front row. It goes to show the hard work they put in the team and the money they have been spending. The wind tunnel data is paying off. If you are getting beat by anybody, you would rather have your team mate get the pole."

Both drivers believe the track offers its own set of challenges.

Ricky Rudd was the third-fastest qualifier at 183.156mph in a Ford. Engines built by Robert Yates Racing swept the top three positions in qualifying. Bill Elliott qualified a Dodge fourth at 182.772mph and Joe Nemechek put a Chevrolet fifth on the grid at 182.340mph.

"The two words that came up with the guys who tested here were fast and grip," said Rudd, who didn't test in advance. "The Winston Cup cars have adapted very well to this race track. We're going to watch the Busch race to see how the groove progresses. We need another groove to come in. We'll go about it a little cautiously until that second groove comes in, then you will see a great race."

"This place is unique because when you come off Turn 4 and onto the straightaway, it seems like Las Vegas," he added. "That's about the only comparison this track has to Vegas. Turns 3 and 4 seem like Texas Motor Speedway. They used their head when they built this facility. I haven't heard a negative comment yet."

Drivers who failed to make the race were Shawna Robinson, Mike Bliss and veteran Dave Marcis, who announced at Daytona last week that he will retire at the end of the season..

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