Bill Elliott wins the pole at Texas

Bill Elliott wins the pole at Texas

Bill Elliott won the pole for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, qualified with a lap speed of 194.224 mph. "I drove that thing [car] off into the turn and it stuck...

Bill Elliott won the pole for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, qualified with a lap speed of 194.224 mph. "I drove that thing [car] off into the turn and it stuck and I knew it was going to be good. I got through one and two and the car stayed on the bottom. That's the way it's going to be here Sunday. You've got to stay on the bottom. You never know what the track is going to be like. I got through one and two pretty good."

Elliott Sadler, who held the pole for the majority of qualifying, will start alongside in row one. The cloud cover helped his Wood Brothers Ford on the qualifying run. "I think it helped a lot," said Sadler. " It definitely helped my car -- the cooler the temperatures got -- so I knew it helped the guys after the 26 wrecked. It had to help a lot as far as grip, but we're gonna be satisfied with that. We're not gonna throw that back in and try another one."

Bill Elliott.
Photo by Richard Sloop.

Rounding out the top five is the Havoline Ford No. 28 of Ricky Rudd, the No. 15 NAPA Chevy of Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett in the UPS No. 88 Ford and Stacy Compton in the AJ Foyt owned No. 14 Pontiac.

Ryan Newman, rookie point leader, described how his Penske Ford handled: "Loose, loose, loose. We've been trying to get a hold of the race track, but we just couldn't get the car down in the race track all day. We'll go back to the drawing board for tomorrow, I guess."

Another rookie, Shawna Robinson, had the best qualifying effort of her Winston Cup career. She put her BAM Dogde in the 16th postion.

"I knew we had a good race car and we've built a team with some good chemistry," commented Robinson. "My owner promised me seat time this year, and I've got plenty of that. I don't think there's any question that we've proven we can qualify. We're a new race team and I think we're showing we have the capabilities to be a competitive team. We're an underdog. We don't have as much support, and we need support to get to where we need to be. We'll get there. It'd make it a lot more fun if I had a product to relate to. We got the car where we needed it to be and it showed. Now we just need to race all day. This is my style of track. I just want to have a competitive car."

There were 44 qualifiers, Ron Hornaday was the only one not to make the race.

The qualifying session did yield some excitement. Robby Gordon and Frank Kimmel both wrecked hard into the outside wall while making their way around the 1.5 mile track. Both drivers were uninjured.

Many drivers were seen scuffing in sets of tires today, an indication that the added heat cycle is needed to gain more traction.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Michael Waltrip , Shawna Robinson , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Frank Kimmel , Elliott Sadler