Saturday, September 27, 2003

Sadler claims pole at Talladega



The Associated Press

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Elliott Sadler won his second career pole with a speed of 189.943 mph for Sunday's EA Sports 500.

Jamie McMurray (189.395) will start beside Sadler on the front row. The rest of the top five was Jimmie Johnson (189.189), Sterling Marlin (189.137) and Jeff Gordon (189.085).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to take a provisional poll after it was ruled he used an illegal car during qualifying. He will start 38th. Earnhardt wasn't the only big name to take a provisional.

Matt Kenseth, who has a huge lead in the point standings, will start alongside Earnhardt in 37th after a plodding run of 185.913 mph, which placed him 43rd out of the 49 cars that attempted to qualify.

FORMULA ONE: Jarno Trulli's record lap means only that he will be the final qualifier today when the starting grid is set for the U.S. Grand Prix.

An electrical problem for Jos Verstappen, however, means he gets to qualify first.

"This is the second time I couldn't complete a run," Verstappen said. "I'm pretty disappointed, but I hope I have a better day tomorrow."

Trulli was fastest in a morning test session and in the final practice. He turned a lap at 1 minute, 9.566 seconds, or 134.795 mph, in the first round of qualifications Friday on the 13-turn, 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

But under a new format adopted by Formula One this year, Friday's times merely determined the qualification order for today, when drivers will go out in reverse order.

Only today's speeds will be used in determining the lineup for Sunday's race.

Rubens Barrichello, who won last year when Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher slowed on the final lap, was second-fastest at 134.276 mph, followed by Mark Webber, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

CART: Drivers were disappointed Friday with the condition of the temporary street circuit in Miami being used for this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas, especially large, bumpy sections of the front straightaway.

Alex Tagliani, who was seventh in Friday's qualifying, said passing would be impossible on the narrow, 1.15-mile course. The harshest criticism came from rookie Mika Salo, who qualified second.

"I wouldn't call it a track. I'd call it something else," Salo said.




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