Martin on pole 17 break track record

AUTO RACING 4

June 15, 1991

LONG POND, Pa. -- Mark Martin won his third pole of the season as the fastest among 17 drivers who broke the track qualifying record yesterday for the NASCAR Champion Spark Plug 500 stock car race.

Martin's lap of 161.996 mph came as radial tires made their debut on the 2 1/2 -mile tri-oval at Pocono International Raceway.

So many drivers broke Alan Kulwicki's 3-year-old record of 158.806 mph that two -- Sterling Marlin and Hut Stricklin -- didn't even officially nail down starting spots.

Only the first 15 positions were set for the race tomorrow. An optional qualifying round today determines the full lineup of up to 40 cars.

Kulwicki, who like Martin will be in a Ford, will start second. Ernie Irvan and Ricky Rudd, both in Chevrolets, are on the second row.

Martin's 55.557-second lap edged Kulwicki's 55.585, or 161.914 mph, for the pole. Both used overdrive transmissions in their qualifying runs, unlike their closest challengers.

Both shattered the 56.673-second lap Kulwicki ran in qualifying for the June 1988 race here, but Martin wasn't surprised with the beating drivers gave the old record.

1. Mark Martin, Greensboro, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 161.996 (track record; old record 158.806, Alan Kulwicki, June 1988). 2. Alan Kulwicki, Charlotte, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 161.914. 3. Ernie Irvan, Rockwell, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 160.970. 4. Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Chevrolet Lumina, 160.869. 5. Michael Waltrip, Davidson, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 160.428. 6. Derrike Cope, Charlotte, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 160.396. 7. Ken Schrader, Concord, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 160.228. 8. Harry Gant, Taylorsville, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 160.219. 9. Rusty Wallace, Concord, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 160.134. 10. Davey Allison, Hueytown, Ala., Ford Thunderbird, 159.883.

11. Rick Wilson, Huntersville, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 159.818. Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 159.623. 13. Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet Lumina, 159.405. 14. Terry Labonte, Archdale, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 159.396. 15. Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford Thunderbird, 159.340. 16. Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 159.050. 17. Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Buick Regal, 158.921. 18. Geoff Bodine, Julian, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 158.786. 19. Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Pontiac Grand Prix, 158.781. 20. Brett Bodine, Harrisburg, N.C., Buick Regal, 158.680.

21. Dale Earnhardt, Doolie, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 158.604. 22. Bobby Hillin Jr., Harrisburg, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 158.565. 23. Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 158.420. 24. Dale Jarrett, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 158.247. 25. Rick Mast, Rockbridge Baths, Va., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 157.673. 26. Joe Ruttman, Franklin, Tenn., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 157.197. 27. Jimmy Spencer, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 157.156. 28. Larry Pearson, Spartanburg, S.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 157.137. 29. Dave Marcis, Avery's Creek, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 156.180. 30. Chad Little, Charlotte, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 156.136.

31. Mickey Gibbs, Glencoe, Ala., Pontiac Grand Prix, 155.580. 32. Jimmy Means, Forest City, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 154.817. 33. Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh, Wis., Pontiac Grand Prix, 154.244. 34. Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 152.553. 35. J.D. McDuffie, Sanford, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 148.234. 36. Randy LaJoie, S. Norwalk, Conn., Buick Regal, DNQ. 37. James Hilton, Inman, S.C., Chevrolet Lumina, DNQ.

Detroit Grand Prix

DETROIT -- Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr. were right back where they always seem to be during Detroit qualifying -- up front.

Andretti won the provisional pole, with Unser right behind on the bumpy and demanding 2.5-mile, 17-turn downtown street circuit.

There will be another round of qualifying today to determine the final starting order for tomorrow's race.

1. Michael Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Lola-Chevrolet, 86.947. 2. Al Unser Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., Lola-Chevrolet, 86.347. 3. Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazil, Penske-Chevrolet, 86.220. 4. Rick Mears, Bakersfield, Calif., Penske-Chevrolet, 86.197. 5. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Lola-Chevrolet, 85.800. 6. Bobby Rahal, Dublin, Ohio, Lola-Chevrolet, 85.279. 7. Eddie Cheever, Aspen, Colo., Lola-Chevrolet, 84.757. 8. Arie Luyendyk, the Netherlands, Lola-Chevrolet, 84.741. 9. Scott Brayton, Coldwater, Mich., Lola-Chevrolet, 84.153. 10. Scott Pruett, Dublin, Ohio, Truesports-Judd, 83.999.

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