FITTIPALDI CAPTURES POLE AT NAZARETH
by Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet
Emerson Fittipaldi won his first pole position at Nazareth Speedway, "The Worlds Fastest One-Mile Oval", and at record speed, for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix.
Fittipaldi's speed over a single qualifying lap, 185.600 miles per hour, was more than four mph faster than the previous mark, 181.435, set in 1992 by Michael Andretti in a '92 Lola-Ford/Cosworth.
It is the seventh time a Marlboro Team Penske car has set a track record in qualifying and the team's ninth pole in 15 races this year.
Penske teammate Paul Tracy will start alongside Fittipaldi, while Ford- Lola drivers Nigel Mansell and Robby Gordon share row two. Mario Andretti was fifth fastest for the final start in his home town race at Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Mario's best finish at Nazareth was a third place in 1988 and he's finished in the top-five five times since the inaugural 200-mile Indy car race at Nazareth in 1987.
Fittipaldi is the only two-time winner at Nazareth, winning the 200-mile race in 1989 and 1990, but he hasn't managed a win since the Slick 500 200 at Phoenix in April. Newly crowned PPG Indy Car World Series Champion Al Unser Jr. is the only driver to win an Indy car race from pole position this year, doing so four times.
Sunday's race will be show LIVE on ESPN television at 10:00am Pacific time, with a special "on board" telecast of the action on ESPN2 (ESPNalso, for Jeff Angell:).
-Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet
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