Mears regains record to get Marlboro pole
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Oval master Rick Mears knocked teammate Emerson Fittipaldi off the pole for tomorrow's CART Marlboro 500 in a record-shattering qualifying session yesterday at Michigan International Speedway.
The day began with Mears holding the track qualifying record of 223.401 mph, set in 1986, and ended with the three-time Indy-car champion boosting it to 225.169.
In between, new marks were set five times by four drivers.
John Andretti got it started with a lap of 223.655, and cousin Michael Andretti quickly elevated that to 223.840. Mario Andretti, Michael's father, raised the mark to 224.166.
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Scott Pruett leads the points, but it will be Dale Earnhardt at the point for the start today of round 3 of the IROC.
The starting order is the reverse of the current points in the four-race all-star series. Earnhardt, the current Winston Cup point leader, has had far less good fortune in the first two events of the four-race IROC series, finishing last in the opener at Daytona International Speedway and ninth at Talladega Superspeedway.
Earnhardt has just nine points. Pruett, the winner at Daytona and fourth at Talladega, is at the front of the pack with 38. He's one point ahead of Bill Elliott, who was second in both events. Third is Rusty Wallace, the Talladega winner, with 34 points.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Ward Burton of South Boston, Va., captured the first pole position of his career, as he qualified in a record 110.516 mph.
Burton qualified in a Buick on the .686-mile oval at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The 29-year-old was a rookie on the Busch Grand National Series last year.
"This is great," said Burton, whose younger brother, Jeff, was 12th fastest in qualifying. "It's my first pole, and getting it at Indianapolis means a lot. This is a big race for this series."