Stewart speeds to Daytona pole

Last weekend Tony Stewart joked several times about having gotten fat. While he might be carrying some extra tonnage on his slight frame it doesn't seem to have slowed the former Cup series champion down. After earning the victory last week, ...

Last weekend Tony Stewart joked several times about having gotten fat. While he might be carrying some extra tonnage on his slight frame it doesn't seem to have slowed the former Cup series champion down.

After earning the victory last week, Stewart compliments his good luck with a pole at Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Pepsi 400 Saturday night. Stewart went out mid-pack just as the track temperatures started to cool and turned a lap of 185.582 mph just beat the rest of the field to earn his first pole of the 2005 season.

"I am really excited for the team," said Stewart. "I don't deserve any credit I didn't do anything today.my guys are the ones that deserve all the credit today.I didn't have anything to do with it today, all I had to do is shift three times and hold the line."

Scott Riggs was second with a lap of 185.418 mph. Hopefully, it will supply the No. 10 team with the shot in the arm they needed. Primary sponsor Valvoline will not be returning next season to Riggs Chevy, joining the Evernham Dodge stable instead.

"We were pretty good," Rigg said. "Didn't know what we were going to run as far as by ourselves.but the car really drafted well it was really strong."

Jimmie Johnson's run of 185.273 mph landed the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy in third. Johnson lost the points lead to Greg Biffle last week after woes at Sears Point. He trails the No. 16 Ford team by 22 markers, Biffle starts 18th.

"We made some adjustments to it to make it better," Johnson said. "I really feel good about the race car. Jeff (Gordon) has had a good car down here and at Talladega, and we took those concepts and applied it to this Lowe's Monte Carlo."

The top ten had a few surprises but none as big as Boris Said grabbing the No. 36 Chevy into the fourth spot. It is Said's best ever start in a NASCAR event.

"Our car is so good," commented Said. "Hendrick motors are so good. I am really happy I have a great car for tomorrow night."

Joe Nemechek completes the top five putting all three MB2 Motorsports cars in the top five and making it an all Chevy sweep.

"I think the US Army Chevy is going to be good," said Nemechek. "It's a brand new race car.we tested two others and we weren't happy with them. I think we could have went faster but you got to keep that Hendrick engine running for 400 laps. I think we will be good tomorrow night."

Forty-six racers attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show were Mike Garvey, Kenny Wallace, Don Pardus and Morgan Shepard; Pardus and Shepard withdrew before making their attempts.

Notably Kerry Earnhardt, who went out first in the No. 33 RCR Chevy, is tenth; his brother Dale Earnhardt, Jr. did not fare as well he starts 39th.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Tony Stewart , Boris Said , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Kerry Earnhardt , Mike Garvey