Sorenson Soars At Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - Reed Sorenson is on a roll.

Last week he scored his third career Busch Series win at Gateway International Raceway.

Saturday afternoon he scored the pole for one of the biggest races of the year.

Sorenson earned the top spot for Sunday's running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 184.207 in his Chip Ganassi Racing Target Dodge.

After topping the day's only practice session, Sorenson backed up that effort with the pole.

It was the 21-year-old driver's first career NEXTEL Cup Series pole, a satisfying accomplishment for the youngest regular on the NEXTEL Cup Series..

"The cars, just all three Ganassi cars, were just fast here all day," said Sorenson. After I ran, I thought there would be a lot of cars faster than us when it got cooler later in the day. But this is a lot better car than we had last year."'

"It's an awesome place to get our first pole. I know it means a lot to Chip and everybody else involved."

His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, will start outside row one in the Texaco Havoline Dodge.

"You can see indications where the team is heading," Montoya said. "I'm sure there will be some more bad weekends, but it's nice to show everybody what the team can do."

Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.

Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, Casey Mears and Denny Hamlin completed the first ten qualifiers.

Last year's winner Jimmie Johnson struggled in qualifying and will start 19th.

"We really haven't been as fast as we want to, but we know we have tonight to work on things with some good information to pull from our teammates," said Johnson. "Last year, going into the race, we didn't get a good night's sleep because we didn't think we were that close. We hit the right setup overnight and I also think I learned a little bit come race time."

Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, a four-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner, rolls off 21st.

Joe Nemechek, A.J. Allmendinger, Kevin Lepage, Dale Jarrett, Mayfield and Kenny Wallace failed to qualify. Nemechek and Jarrett had competed in all 13 previous NEXTEL Cup races at Indianapolis.

Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is slated for a 2 p.m. (ET) start.

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