Fittipaldi gets provisional pole at Vancouver

August 31, 1991

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA Z — VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Emerson Fittipaldi out-dueled Michael Andretti to win the provisional pole for tomorrow's Vancouver Molson-Indy, splashing through a rainy opening qualifying session for a fast lap of 89.979 mph.

Andretti, who won the pole last year for the inaugural Indy-car race at the downtown Pacific Place exhibition grounds, wound up the runner-up in the first of two sessions of time trials with a lap of 88.130.

With the daylong rain forcing the drivers to use grooved tires, rather than racing slicks, everyone fell far short of Andretti's 1990 record of 98.540, which was set on a slightly different track configuration.

Nevertheless, Fittipaldi and Andretti were able to put on a competitive show for the several thousand fans who braved the wet weather, trading the top qualifying spot four times, including on consecutive laps at one point in the 30-minute session.

Fittipaldi, known as one of the best in the rain, said: "We had a very good setup at the [New Jersey] Meadowlands in the wet, and we started with that. In qualifying, I was enjoying driving in the rain because the quantity of water was not so bad. It wasn't aquaplaning and there was enough visibility."

The possibility of rain is forecast through tomorrow. Fittipaldi said: "If it rains hard [today], this could be the grid [for the race]. I was trying very hard."

Andretti was visibly angry when he emerged from his car.

"I was a little upset," he said. "The strategy wasn't right. I ran out of fuel with five minutes to go. Everybody knows that the last lap is usually the fastest in conditions like this, and we were building toward it.

"I went out with about three minutes to go, and I was pretty confident that we could do something before the end," Andretti said. "But I wound up behind [Bobby] Rahal and never got another [hot] lap."

1. Emerson Fittipaldi, Penske-Chevrolet, 89.979. 2. Michael Andretti, Lola-Chevrolet, 88.130. 3. Scott Goodyear, Lola-Judd, 86.964. 4. Rick Mears, Penske-Chevrolet, 86.215. 5. Arie Luyendyk, Lola-Chevrolet, 85.908. 6. Al Unser Jr., Lola-Chevrolet, 85.847. 7. Danny Sullivan, Lola-Alfa Romeo, 85.027. 8. Eddie Cheever, Lola-Chevrolet, 84.600. 9. Scott Pruett, Truesports-Judd, 84.455. 10. John Andretti, Lola-Chevrolet, 84.438. 11. Bobby Rahal, Lola-Chevrolet, 83.755. 12. Scott Brayton, Lola-Chevrolet, 82.629. 13. Hiro Matsushita, Lola-Cosworth, 81.808. 14. Mario Andretti, Lola-Chevrolet, 81.264. 15. Ted Prappas, Lola-Judd, 80.757. 16. Jeff Andretti, Lola-Cosworth, 79.622. 17. John Jones, 1989 Lola-Buick, 78.871. 18. Nicola Morozzo, Lola-Cosworth, 76.579. 19. Ross Bentley, 1990 Lola-Cosworth, 76.306. 20. Tony Bettenhausen, Lola-Chevrolet, 74.621. 21. Willy T. Ribbs, 1990 Lola-Cosworth, 74.562. 22. Jeff Wood, Lola-Cosworth, no speed.

Southern 500

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Rookie Bobby Hamilton led a sparse field of second-day qualifiers at Darlington Raceway.

Hamilton averaged 159.497 mph, which would have given him the 12th starting position in his first Southern 500 had he done it during Thursday's qualifying.

But because it came on the second day of time trials, Hamilton will start 21st in tomorrow's race. The first 20 spots were locked in Thursday, with the final 18 positions determined yesterday.

Still, Hamilton, driving an Oldsmobile, improved substantially on his first-day speed of 157.873 mph. That time was good enough for only the No. 26 spot.

Davey Allison won the pole on Thursday with a race record qualifying speed of 162.506 mph. Allison was one of five drivers to better Bill Elliott's qualifying of 160.827 mph set in 1988.

1. Davey Allison, Ford, 162.506, qualifying record; previous record, 160.827, by Bill Elliott, 1988. 2. Bill Elliott, Ford, 161.339. 3. Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 161.317. 4. Geoff Bodine, Ford, 161.238. 5. Harry Gant, Oldsmobile, 160.843. 6. Ernie Irvan, Chevrolet, 160.811. 7. Alan Kulwicki, Ford, 160.790. 8. Dale Jarrett, Ford, 160.590. 9. Ken Schrader, Chevrolet, 160.245. 10. Mark Martin, Ford, 159.802.

11. Morgan Shepherd, Ford, 159.590 12. Darrell Waltrip, Chevrolet, 159.450 13. Rusty Wallace, Pontiac, 159.177 14. Dick Trickle, Wis., Pontiac, 158.976 15. Sterling Marlin, Ford, 158.822 16. Kyle Petty, Pontiac, 158.755 17. Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 158.617. 18. Ricky Rudd, Chevrolet, 158.602. 19. Larry Pearson, Chevrolet, 158.581. 20. Jimmy Spencer, Chevrolet, 158.489.

21. Bobby Hamilton, Oldsmobile, 159.497. 22. Rick Wilson, Buick, 158.351. 23. Terry Labonte, Oldsmobile, 158.300. 24. Rick Mast, Oldsmobile, 158.229. 25. Lake Speed, Pontiac, 158.000. 26. Hut Stricklin, Buick, 157.853. 27. Brett Bodine, Buick, 157.122. 28. Chad Little, Ford, 156.961. 29. Michael Waltrip, Pontiac, 156.901. 30. Richard Petty, Pontiac, 156.671.

31. Ted Musgrave, Pontiac, 156.646. 32. Joe Ruttman, Oldsmobile, 155.931. 33. Greg Sacks, Oldsmobile, 155.301. 34. Jimmy Means, Pontiac, 154.729. 35. Randy Baker, Chevrolet, 154.632. 36. Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 152.602. 37. Mark Stahl, 145.487. 38. James Hylton, Buick, 143.249.

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