SES: Eddie Mercer snags Kentucky pole

Eddie Mercer sped to his second consecutive pole position in NASCAR's All-Pro Touing series this afternoon at Kentucky Speedway with a fast lap of 34.707 seconds (155.588 mph). He and Stanley Smith (34.773, 155.293) will lead the 35-car All-Pro...

Eddie Mercer sped to his second consecutive pole position in NASCAR's All-Pro Touing series this afternoon at Kentucky Speedway with a fast lap of 34.707 seconds (155.588 mph). He and Stanley Smith (34.773, 155.293) will lead the 35-car All-Pro field to the green flag for the 100-lap Kentucky 150 tonight at 9 pm. Jeff Fultz qualified third at 35.137 seconds, 153.684 mph. Fultz, who is also entered for tomorrow's NASCAR Busch Series race, won both of the All-Pro Series 2001 visits to the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval.

Series point leader, Charlie Bradberry, qualified seventh, but his closest points challenger, David Reutimann, will have to start from the rear of the field after breaking his Chevrolet's rear suspension on his first qualifying lap and failing to record a time. Second-qualifier Smith also hit trouble during qualifying, blowing a right-rear tire, but the incident occurred before he took the green flag and he was able to return to make a timed lap.

The Kentucky 150 is the 5th race of the All-Pro season. Ruetimann won round one, at South Boston Speedway in March, Ryan Hemphill was the winner of the most recent event, last week at Nashville SuperSpeedway, and Toby Porter won the two rounds in between at Greenville-Pickens and Birmingham Raceways. Porter will start 6th and Hemphill 24th in tonight's race.

Mercer gave credit for his fast time to his engine builder, saying: "Ron Hutter built the engines, it was his pole. These cars only generate about 330 horsepower, compared to 700 for the Busch cars...Even though we look slower, we're probably faster than the Busch cars in the corners."

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Series NASCAR
Drivers David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Ryan Hemphill , Charlie Bradberry , Eddie Mercer