Qualifying: Stewart scorches to pole

On perhaps the hottest day in Indiana this year, Tony Stewart took pole position for one of the biggest NASCAR Winston Cup races of the season, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Qualifying: Stewart scorches to pole

Stewart, running early in the order with the track heat already over 125 degrees, nailed a record lap in 49.191 seconds (182.960mph), easily putting surging Bill Elliott (49.421s) behind.

Dale Earnhardt Jr was third, Robby Gordon fourth, Ryan Newman fifth and Steve Park sixth.

Stewart destroyed Brett Bodine's two-year-old track record (49.704s), during a season in which record runs have been rare because of the hard tyre compounds.

The leap in speeds here has been attributed by many to a grinding of the pristine, glass-like surface, allowing for more grip.

With 50 qualifiers, some fired and fell back. Ron Hornaday, Derrike Cope, Scott Wimmer, Tony Raines, Jim Sauter, Stuart Kirby and PJ Jones failed to make the show.

Kurt Busch, fastest in practice Friday, tried to hard and spun. He took a provisional.

Tony Stewart Pontiac 49.191s 182.960mph
Bill Elliott Dodge 49.421s 182.109mph
Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 49.552s 181.627mph
Robby Gordon Chevrolet 49.575s 181.543mph
Ryan Newman Ford 49.645s 181.287mph
Steve Park Chevrolet 49.745s 180.923mph
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 49.755s 180.886mph
Sterling Marlin Dodge 49.806s 180.701mph
Mark Martin Ford 49.815s 180.668mph
Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 49.881s 180.429mph

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