SWS: Crafton wins Pheonix pole

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 2, 2000) Matt Crafton positioned himself for his final run at the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring championship Thursday when he won the Bud Pole Award for Friday's Albertson's/Osco 125 at Phoenix International ...

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 2, 2000) Matt Crafton positioned himself for his final run at the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring championship Thursday when he won the Bud Pole Award for Friday's Albertson's/Osco 125 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Crafton, of Tulare, Calif., bested a field of 63 cars with a lap of 27.456 seconds, averaging 131.119 mph around the one-mile oval. He leads the championship chase by 113 points over Auggie Vidovich Jr. of Lakeside, Calif. Vidovich will start 22nd.

"Trust me, I won't be happy until Friday night if I've won the championship," Crafton said. It was his fourth Bud Pole Award of the season and his first at Phoenix.

NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Ken Schrader will start next to Crafton on the front row. Gary Lewis of Bothell, Wash., and Chris Hart of Yakima, Wash., will make up the second row. Greg Pursley of Newhall, Calif., and Garrett Evans of Ardenvoir, Wash., are in the third row.

M.K. Kanke, Rick Allison, Scott Hansen and Bob Lyon rounded out the top-10 starters.

Crafton can win the championship by finishing 31st or better, no matter where Vidovich finishes.

"I hope we can wrap up this championship," the pole sitter said. "That's all we're here to do this weekend. We'd love to win the race, but the championship is the main goal."

The field of 42 starters are scheduled to take the green flag at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Ken Schrader , Matt Crafton , Greg Pursley , Auggie Vidovich , Gary Lewis , Scott Hansen