Qualifying: Harvick's record-breaker

Kevin Harvick, with a favourable early draw, ran a fast lap in 48.822s (184.343mph) on Saturday to win the pole for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Qualifying: Harvick's record-breaker


Kevin Harvick, with a favourable early draw, ran a fast lap in 48.822s (184.343mph) on Saturday to win the pole for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harvick won his first pole of the season, and first since July 2002 at Daytona, by smashing the Speedway stock car track record by nearly 0.4s. The old record of 49.191s was set by Tony Stewart last year. This race never has been won from the pole.

Of the top ten qualifiers, seven were among the first 12 on the track, with time trials beginning at 10 a.m. Although the sky stayed largely overcast with occasional sprinkles of rain, the changeable track warmed toward midday.

John Andretti, who went out 37th (among 52), and Jimmie Johnson, who ran 30th, were fastest in Friday practice. Johnson qualified ninth and Andretti 11th.

Ryan Newman was second overall at 48.850s, with Bill Elliott third, Ward Burton fourth and Michael Waltrip fifth. The top 11 all exceeded the previous track record.

Heartbreak, of course, came at the other end, where nine teams were eliminated from the lucrative event. Most unfortunate was Brett Bodine, who ran an identical time (49.866s) to that of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 36th place qualifier. Because Earnhardt's timing had preceded Bodine's, Earnhardt took the position, leaving Bodine 37th - and out of the show.

Bodine, trying to survive as owner/driver, could have used the race's minimum payout, which last year was about $92,000. That could have kept Bodine in business for a couple of weeks.

Bodine also was aced out by a shrewd move by A.J. Foyt, who renumbered his No. 14 cars with the No. 50 the past few weeks to avoid burning his final provisional. When time came for counting, Foyt was two spots ahead of Bodine on the owners list, with Derrike Cope, slowest in the field, one spot ahead. Foyt got P6 and Cope P7.

The other provisionals (in order) went to Jeff Burton, Terry Labonte, Ricky Rudd, Johnny Benson and Kyle Petty. Failing to make the show were Bodine, Ken Schrader (ending a streak of 579 consecutive starts), Billy Bigley, Ted Musgrave, Jim Sauter, Christian Fittipaldi and Hermie Sadler. Both Morgan-McClure drivers (Robert Pressley, David Reutimann) also missed.

Leading qualifying positions for the Brickyard 400

1) Kevin Harvick GM Goodwrench Chevrolet 48.822s
2) Ryan Newman ALLTEL Dodge 48.850s
3) Bill Elliott Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge 48.933s
4) Ward Burton Caterpillar Dodge 48.982s
5) Michael Waltrip NAPA Chevrolet 48.987s
6) Kurt Busch Rubbermaid Ford 48.990s
7) Joe Nemechek UAW/Delphi Chevrolet 49.061s
8) Bobby Labonte Interstate Chevrolet 49.071s
9) Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 49.091s
10) Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge 49.110s

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