Schrader To Start 29Th In Vegas

LAS VEGAS – Attention shoppers, there’s a fast car that needs a sponsor flying through Turn 4. Zoom! It speeds past the finish line, the fastest of them all Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

There weren’t any blue lights in sight, but there was a blue blur.

Todd Bodine was driving the logo-less blue No. 66, and he drove it well around the 1.5-mile oval, winning the pole for Sunday’s UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

The pole can only help Haas-Carter Motorsports, which is looking for primary sponsorship for its two-car team of Bodine and Joe Nemechek. Kmart, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, left the team after last week’s race at North Carolina Speedway.

The move was so sudden that the team hasn’t had time to strip the Kmart logos off its transporters, but the cars are barren this weekend.

Bodine’s car wasn’t missing speed, though, as he edged rookie Ryan Newman by .002 seconds. Bodine’s lap was 172.850 mph.

Kurt Busch continued his strong surge early in 2002 by qualifying third on his home track, making it a 1-2-3 sweep for Ford. Jimmy Spencer had his best qualifying effort with Chip Ganassi Racing by posting the fourth-fastest lap, while Michael Waltrip was a solid fifth.

Mark Martin was sixth, with Johnny Benson seventh, Rockingham winner Matt Kenseth eighth, Ricky Craven ninth and Dave Blaney 10th.

Ken Schrader and the M&M’s”® Racing Team will start 29th in Sunday's race, after he turned in a lap of 169.252 mph in qualifying.

Kenseth was the only Winston No Bull 5 driver to make the Top 10. The other drivers eligible for the $1 million bonus should they win Sunday were Tony Stewart in 15th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 35th, Jeff Burton in 39th and Bobby Hamilton 44th.

Two-time LVMS pole winner Dale Jarrett was only 37th fastest and took a provisional to make the race.

Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton was 32nd, defending Winston Cup champion and defending race winner Jeff Gordon 13th.

Newman, the Purdue engineering graduate, knew how close he came to winning his second career pole.

“It was probably about 4 inches at the start-finish line,” Newman said. “In my first ARCA race with Penske, Shawna Robinson beat me for the pole at Michigan by seven-thousandths. We figured that was about 17 inches. It was definitely close, but it was a great run for this team.”

Busch was fastest in Friday’s practice, but he was still smiling despite coming up short in his bid to win his second career pole.

“It was good, it was just not enough to get the pole,” said Busch, who qualified first in the Southern 500 last September. “But we gave the Vegas fans a great thrill. It was great to put up that type of lap. If we will put ourselves sin that position a few more times throughout the year, we know we’ll get a pole. I know that (with crew chief) Jimmy Fennig, his experience is going to lead us to a few wins this year.”

The UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 is set to get the green flag Sunday at 4 p.m. (ET).

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2002

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