DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Davey Allison boosted his bonus possibilities in the Southern 500 to $214,000 yesterday, putting his Ford on the pole with a sizzling lap of 162.506 mph at Darlington Raceway.
If Allison takes the NASCAR Winston Cup Series classic Sunday at the 1.366-mile track, he'll earn $114,000 for starting first/finishing first, and another $100,000, the Winston Million consolation prize. The latter goes to a driver winning two of stock car racing's Big Four events in the same season.
Allison, driving a Thunderbird fielded by the Robert Yates Racing team, led by Larry McReynolds, became eligible for the latter by winning Charlotte's Coca-Cola 600 in May. Also in contention for it are Harry Gant (Winston 500) and Ernie Irvan (Daytona 500), who'll start fifth and sixth in an Olds and Chevrolet, respectively.
Bill Elliott made it an all-Ford front row for the 42nd running of the 500 with a lap of 161.399.
Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, leading the standings toward a fifth title, will line up his Chevrolet third in a quest for an unprecedented third straight Southern 500 triumph after qualifying at 161.317. Geoff Bodine took fourth place in a Ford at 161.238.
The pole was Allison's third this year, tying him for the season lead with Alan Kulwicki and Mark Martin toward a $30,000 bonus for the season's most. It's the 12th time trial triumph of his career, and second at Darlington, where he won the Southern 500 pole in 1987 as a rookie.