Indianapolis: Qualifying report

Harvick edges Newman with record lap to win Brickyard 400 pole. INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2003 -- Kevin Harvick edged Ryan Newman for the Brickyard 400 on a record day of speed Aug. 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Harvick earned...

Harvick edges Newman with record lap to win Brickyard 400 pole.

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2003 -- Kevin Harvick edged Ryan Newman for the Brickyard 400 on a record day of speed Aug. 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harvick earned his first career Brickyard pole and his first pole of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season with a lap of 48.822 seconds, 184.343 mph in the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. Indiana native Newman, who has won two of the last three Winston Cup races this season, was second at 48.850, 184.237 in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge.

"We took our practice yesterday and made six laps and tried to pay attention to what we did last year," Harvick said. "We knew we had a good draw, so we knew the car was going to need a little bit different gear, and we needed to be a little bit free yesterday afternoon. That's what we did.

"Anything you do here (Indianapolis) means a lot to me. Obviously, there's a lot of history with open-wheel and stock cars. It's an important place for the GM Goodwrench team."

The 10th Brickyard 400 starts at 1:30 p.m. (EST, Indy time) and will be broadcast live by NBC Sports and the IMS Radio Network.

Harvick's pole lap was the fastest ever turned by a stock car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The previous best was 182.960 set by Tony Stewart en route to winning the pole for the 2002 Brickyard 400.

Defending Brickyard 400 champion Bill Elliott qualified third at 48.933, 183.925 in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. Ward Burton was fourth at 48.982, 183.741 in the No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge, while Michael Waltrip rounded out the top five at 48.987, 183.722 in the No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet.

The draw order played a big role in qualifying, as the five fastest qualifiers each made their attempts under cloud cover among the first 12 cars in the order. The sun came out just as No. 13 qualifier Hermie Sadler made his attempt on the historic 2.5-mile oval.

"The cooler the track gets, the faster these cars are going to go," Elliott said. "That's pretty evident with what happened this morning. I was lucky enough to get a good draw. A lot of times I'd rather be lucky than good any day of the week.

"I was fortunate enough to get an early draw. It worked out for us. You know, it was pretty bad for the guys kind of in the middle when the track temp got up; it kind of hurt them."

The top 11 drivers in the lineup today were faster than the previous mark set by Stewart, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion. Stewart qualified 15th today at 49.304, 182.541 in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet.

"Every year we go faster here," Stewart said. "I'm not surprised at all. If the track could have stayed cooler, we would have run faster."

John Andretti, fastest in Friday practice at 182.708, qualified 11th at 49.154, 183.098 in the No. 81 Kraft 100th Anniversary Chevrolet.

Elliott was the leading qualifier among past Brickyard 400 winners. 2000 race winner Bobby Labonte qualified eighth at 49.071, 183.408 in No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet.

Three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon qualified 19th at 49.390, 182.223 in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. Two-time winner Dale Jarrett was 34th at 49.838, 180.585 in the No. 88 UPS Ford.

1997 Brickyard 400 winner Ricky Rudd needed to use a provisional to earn the 39th starting position in the 43-car field. His lap of 50.064, 179.770 in the No. 21 Rent-A-Center/Motorcraft/USAF Ford was too slow to qualify.

Among the drivers to fail to qualify for the race were Brickyard 400 veterans Brett Bodine and Ken Schrader and Indianapolis 500 veteran Christian Fittipaldi.

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Tickets: Reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Brickyard 400 remain available. Tickets and parking can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Christian Fittipaldi