IRL: Texas Qualifying Story

BOAT CRUISES TO LONE STAR 500 POLE, SETS THREE IRL RECORDS FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 18, 1998 - Billy Boat won the PPG Pole for the Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway today with a speed of 225.979 mph, his third consecutive pole and ...

BOAT CRUISES TO LONE STAR 500 POLE, SETS THREE IRL RECORDS

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 18, 1998 - Billy Boat won the PPG Pole for the Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway today with a speed of 225.979 mph, his third consecutive pole and fifth of the season, both Pep Boys Indy Racing League records. Boat's speed on the 1.5-mile quad-oval also was the fastest ever in qualifying by a new-formula Indy Racing League car. The previous best was 224.448 by Tony Stewart at the True Value 500 in June 1998 at this track. Boat won that event in the Conseco Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

"I had a string of 10 or 12 best qualifying times a few years ago in sprint cars," said Boat. "I've always been a good qualifier. We were out to lunch in the first practice this morning. "We came in and changed everything then went out and ran a 226. I am constantly amazed at (Foyt's) wealth of knowledge." Tony Stewart qualified second in the Glidden-Menards-Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone at 224.869, earning him two championship points and tying him with Davey Hamilton for second in season points at 259. Hamilton qualified sixth at 223.677 in the Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.

Points leader Kenny Brack, Boat's teammate, qualified 10th at 222.186 in the Power Team Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Mark Dismore qualified third and fourth, respectively in their Dallara/Aurora/Goodyears. Sharp earned one point and is fourth in the chase for the Pep Boys Million with 247 points. Boat won his sixth career Indy Racing League pole on his first qualifying lap. He encountered gearbox problems on the second, forcing him to shut the car off before finishing his final lap. "I think we could have run 226 and a half or closer to 227, but we'll never know now," Foyt said. Boat qualified first for the Atlanta 500 Classic presented by MCI on Aug. 29 and the Radisson 200 on Aug. 16 at Colorado Springs, Colo. His other 1998 poles came at the Indianapolis 500 in May and the New England 200 in June at Loudon, N.H. Boat's three consecutive poles have come since he returned from a two-race layoff due to injuries sustained in a crash at the New England 200. Boat is the leading candidate to win the Texas Two-Step Championship and a $100,000 bonus. The driver scoring the most combined points at this event and the June 6 True Value 500 will earn the bonus. The driver with the second-highest total will earn $50,000. Practice continues at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CDT) Saturday. The Lone Star 500, a 208-lap race, starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: Tickets for the Lone Star 500 are available by calling Texas Motor Speedway at (817) 215-8500.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Kenny Brack