Friday Qualifying Report

SONOMA, Calif. - Rusty Wallace captured his sixth NASCAR Winston Cup pole of the season Friday, posting a track-record average of 99.309 miles an hour around the Sears Point Raceway course to take the No. 1 starting spot for Sunday's Save...

SONOMA, Calif. - Rusty Wallace captured his sixth NASCAR Winston Cup pole of the season Friday, posting a track-record average of 99.309 miles an hour around the Sears Point Raceway course to take the No. 1 starting spot for Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350. Wallace's run upstaged a determined bid by Kyle Petty, who was fastest in practice and qualified second at 98.639. Petty was followed by Bobby Labonte at 98.620, Tony Stewart at 98.544 and Jeff Gordon at 98.535. Wallace shattered the track mark of 98.711 miles an hour set by Gordon two years ago. "In practice, we had some goofball problems," Wallace said. "It was a really good lap. It's a brand new car, a brand-new Penske chassis. Between the practice (and qualifying), we put new spring rubbers in the back and made some pressure changes." Petty's performance was a surprise. He set his fast lap of practice eight minutes from the end, coming out of nowhere. "At Michigan two weeks ago, we were struggling to qualify," Petty said, "but now we're getting better. I've always enjoyed road courses. I've always run well at them and I like this race track." Wallace had almost half a second on Petty's second-place time. Between Petty and 25th-place qualifier Terry Labonte, the spread was just over a second. In all, six drivers held the pole at some time during qualifying. Dale Jarrett was the first qualifier and he was followed to the No. 1 spot by Scott Pruett, Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Petty before Wallace finished the chore. Pruett wound up as the fastest rookie qualifier in ninth. Gordon's starting position of fifth gives him five top-five starts in eight Sears Point races. He's won the last two Winston Cup events at the track. Saturday's schedule calls for Winston Cup qualifying for positions 26-36 and the Snap-On Tools/AAA 200 for NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series cars.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty , Scott Pruett