Watkins Glen First Round Qualifying Story

GORDON ADDS ROAD-COURSE POLE TO RESUME WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Jeff Gordon added another accomplishment to his racing resume Friday by winning the pole for Sunday’s Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Watkins Glen ...

GORDON ADDS ROAD-COURSE POLE TO RESUME

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Jeff Gordon added another accomplishment to his racing resume Friday by winning the pole for Sunday’s Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Watkins Glen International.

Gordon toured the 11-turn, 2.45-mile-track in his Dupont Chevrolet at 120.331 mph for the first road course pole of his career. It is Gordon’s sixth No. 1 starting position of the season and the 22nd of his career.

“I felt like we had a pretty good car, but I had no idea we could turn that kind of lap,” said Gordon, who captured his first road course victory earlier this season at Sears Point Raceway in California. “I tried to be as smooth as possible. That is the key to road racing. The more I got into the lap the more aggressive I got.

“It was a really good lap.”

A pair of noted road racers making their first Winston Cup starts qualified in the top five Friday in substitute roles.

Ron Fellows, driving the Caterpillar Chevrolet for owner Buzz McCall, qualified second with a lap of 120.002 mph, while Boris Said, subbing for the injured Jimmy Spencer in the Winston No Bull Ford, qualified fifth. Fellows won the Lysol 200 NASCAR Busch Series event earlier this year at Watkins Glen. Said won the pole for the Lysol 200.

“I’m not quite happy where we are,” Fellows said. “These cars are different from the trucks or the Busch cars. These cars and drivers are the best of the best. We have 90 laps Sunday to do the best we can do and we will see how we compare.”

Ricky Rudd qualified third, followed by Jeff Burton in fourth. Both drivers are in Fords.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Rusty Wallace, Ford; Mark Martin, Ford; Jerry Nadeau, Ford; Ernie Irvan, Pontiac and Dale Jarrett, Ford.

Drivers of note who will have to re-qualify Saturday are Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte. Elliott, who was second-fastest in practice, ran off the course during his qualifying attempt, while Labonte crashed in practice and was forced to use a back-up car in qualifying. Elliott didn’t finish his qualifying attempt, while Labonte was only 35th fastest.

The first 25 positions were determined through first round qualifying Friday. Positions 26-36 will be determined through second-round Saturday.

Sunday’s Bud at the Glen is the second and final road-course race of the year and the 21st of 33 Winston Cup races this season. The event begins at 1 p.m. and is televised by ESPN.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Boris Said , Jimmy Spencer , Jerry Nadeau , Ron Fellows , Mark Martin