NASCAR » 6 August 2006
Press Snoop: Burton on pole, extension for Knaus.
Veteran Jeff Burton has the pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard with a time of 49.240/182.778 mph.
Immediately after qualifying Burton posed for his obligatory Bud Pole Photo Op and took off for O'Reilly Raceway Park to qualify and run the Saturday night Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children Busch Series Race.
This is Burton's third Cup pole position this year.
Second through fifth were Rookie Clint Bowyer-the best ever start for a Rookie at the BY400; Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne; and points leader Jimmie Johnson.
The Qualifying Track Record at the BY400 still belongs to Casey Mears with a time of 48.311/186.293 mph set two years ago. This year Mears was fortieth fastest.
Fifty drivers vied for the 43-car field. Those who didn't make the grid are: Paul Menard; Michael Waltrip; Johnny Sauter; Kevin Lepage; Stephen Leicht; Bobby Hamilton Jr; and Derrike Cope.
Three drivers made it into the field based on Owners Points: Kyle Petty; Rookie Reed Sorensen, who had to run his backup car after crashing Friday; and Dave Blaney.
Just making the field as the last driver who had to qualify based on time was fan favourite, Boris Said, who has been struggling this weekend. Now that he's made the field with a conservative strategy, the team is free to try some new set-ups. Said has been in the news with his open frankness of the need to "sell more cases to run more races" of his sponsor, Sobe Energy Drink, owned by Pepsi.
Along with Burton, nine other Cup drivers are running the Busch race, including Busch points leader, Kevin Harvick. Harvick qualified tenth. Others entered in the 44-car field are Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, JJ Yeley, Denny Hamlin, Reed Sorensen, Carl Edwards and Mike Skinner, who was the fastest Cup driver who had to qualify on time.
Chad Knaus, Crew Chief for Johnson celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday Saturday with an announcement that he signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports, keeping him on as Crew Chief for points leader for the #48 Lowes Chevrolet through 2010. Knaus has been Johnson's Crew Chief since 2001. Contract terms were not disclosed.
Knaus has been in the news this season, sitting out four races earlier this year at NASCAR's request for technical infractions, and is still on probation.
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