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Pole Position

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April 20, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Trying to bounce back from his miserable start to the season, Dario Franchitti won the pole position for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Franchitti, a four-time champion in the Izod IndyCar Series and winner of the Long Beach race in 2009, turned the quickest qualifying lap of 105.369 mph Saturday. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the reigning champion and 2010 Long Beach winner, will start alongside Franchitti on Sunday after qualifying second at 105.282 mph in his car prepared by the Andretti Autosport team.
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April 12, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the pole position for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, a race the former Verizon IndyCar Series champion won in 2010. Hunter-Reay, who drives for the Andretti Autosport team, turned a lap of 104.462 mph on the 11-turn, 1.97-mile Long Beach street course Saturday to capture the first starting spot. His teammate James Hinchcliffe qualified second among the 23 cars in the field at 104.280 mph. Three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais was third and Josef Newgarden qualified fourth.
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SPORTS
March 22, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Three weeks ago Denny Hamlin got on NASCAR's bad side for complaining about the sport's new Gen-6 race car. On Friday, Hamlin won the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Hamlin turned a lap of 187.451 mph in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to earn the first starting spot in Sunday's Auto Club 400. "I knew my lap was really good," Hamlin said. "Our car was just exceptional. " Greg Biffle qualified second, reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski was third, and Hamlin teammate Kyle Busch was fourth.
SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race as NASCAR's new knockout-style qualifying format was used at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the first time. Kenseth, a three-time winner at Fontana when he drove for Roush Fenway Racing, now drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. He turned a lap of 187.315 mph Friday on the two-mile Fontana oval in his No. 20 Toyota. Brad Keselowski, who won two weeks ago in Las Vegas, qualified second in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford at 187.105 mph. Five-time Fontana winner Jimmie Johnson qualified third.
SPORTS
February 17, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole position Sunday when she covered the 2½-mile speedway in 45.817 seconds. Patrick, who has not had much success in either the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or the second-tier Nationwide Series, was the eighth driver in the qualifying session and averaged 196.434 mph. She had to wait for two hours as 37 other drivers tried to better her mark on the Daytona, Fla., track. Jeff Gordon was the only other driver to average 196 mph, clinching the second spot on the front row for the race, which will be next Sunday.
SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
NASCAR's Matt Kenseth knows Auto Club Speedway well, having won three Sprint Cup races at the Fontana track. But he earned the victories driving for Roush Fenway Racing and is still looking for his first win on the two-mile oval since moving to the Joe Gibbs Racing team last year. Kenseth took the step toward a fourth win Friday by winning the pole position for Sunday's Auto Club 400 as NASCAR's new knockout-style qualifying format was used at the Fontana speedway for the first time.
SPORTS
February 12, 1989 | Associated Press
Ken Schrader won the Daytona 500 pole for the second straight year Saturday, taking the top qualifying spot away from Darrell Waltrip and an injured Bill Elliott in the first round of time trials for the Feb. 19 race. Schrader turned a fast lap of 196.997 m.p.h. on the 2.5-mile, high-banked oval at Daytona International Speedway. Waltrip, Schrader's teammate with Hendrick Motorsports, took the other front-row position at 195.916.
SPORTS
February 14, 1992 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Fortunately for Sterling Marlin, he still gets to start on the pole Sunday in the Daytona 500 even though he finished only 19 of 50 laps Thursday in the first of two Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying races, witnessed by a crowd estimated at 100,000. Marlin, who earned the No. 1 starting position with a speed of 192.213 m.p.h. in time trials last Sunday in his Junior Johnson-prepared Ford Thunderbird, was leading when he was spun into the infield grass by defending Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt.
SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Keselowski won the pole position Friday for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway under a new qualifying format implemented by NASCAR. Instead of having one car at a time go around the track in qualifying, NASCAR started using a knockout format to set the starting spots for the 43-car field. At tracks less than 1.25 miles long, such as the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval, qualifying was broken into two sessions. The entire field turned qualifying laps in the initial 30-minute session.
SPORTS
November 1, 2013 | By Bill Dwyre and John Cherwa
Once the Southern California hope for the Triple Crown, Goldencents emerged again spectacularly in the $1-million Dirt Mile on Friday in the opening day of the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita. The Doug O'Neill -trained horse, under a strategically perfect ride by Rafael Bejarano , started in the 11th spot of 11 starters, raced to the front under Bejarano's urging and held on well down the stretch, as Joel Rosario and Golden Ticket chased. Goldencents ended up winning by a decisive 23/4 lengths, and principal owner Glenn Sorgenstein said afterward that he had never doubted the horse, even after Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby and then didn't measure up in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, where the horse finished 17th and fifth.
SPORTS
August 30, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the first pole position of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career by posting the fastest qualifying speed for Sunday night's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stenhouse, 25, turned a lap of 189.688 mph in his No. 17 Ford on Friday to capture the first starting position at the 1.54-mile Atlanta track. Carl Edwards, Stenhouse's teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, qualified second at 189.021 mph and will start alongside Stenhouse on the front row. Juan Pablo Montoya was third at 188.539 mph and Denny Hamlin was fourth at 188.533.
SPORTS
August 10, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Marcos Ambrose continued to show his mastery of the curvy road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y., by winning the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Ambrose, who has won the last two Cup races at Watkins Glen International -- the Australian's only victories in the series -- turned a lap of 128.241 mph in his Ford on Saturday to capture the first starting spot. "I've never had a pole position here, so I dug deep and put down a solid lap and it was enough," Ambrose, 36, told reporters at the track.
SPORTS
July 27, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Newman set a track record Saturday in winning the pole position for NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., won the pole in dramatic fashion. He was the last of 45 drivers to make their qualifying attempt and he knocked off defending Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson to grab the first starting spot. Newman turned a lap of 187.531 mph around the 2.5-mile speedway in his No. 39 Chevrolet, edging Johnson's 187.438 mph and smashing the previous record of 186.293 mph set by Casey Mears nine years ago. It was Newman's 50th pole in the Cup series, and his propensity to qualify first has earned him the nickname "Rocket Man. " Speeds were helped by unseasonably mild weather, with temperatures in the high-70s.
SPORTS
May 3, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Travis Pastrana, the former X Games star turned NASCAR driver, added to his collection of firsts Friday by winning the pole position for the Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. He circled the 2.66-mile tri-oval with a fast lap of 176.500 mph in qualifying for the Aaron's 312 on Saturday. “It sounds like a dream come true," said Pastrana, who drives for Roush Fenway Racing. "Bringing the guys to the line at the green flag at Talladega is awesome, so I'm definitely excited.
SPORTS
April 26, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Matt Kenseth is back to letting his car doing the talking, thank you. Kenseth on Friday won the pole position for the next Sprint Cup Series race one day after he blasted NASCAR for the penalties levied against the driver and his team following their win last weekend. Kenseth turned a lap of 130.334 mph in his No. 20 Toyota to win the pole for Saturday night's race at the 0.75-mile Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. "One of our goals this weekend was to come here and sit on the pole and kind of quiet down at least part of the noise" over the penalties, Kenseth told reporters in Richmond.
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