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Vickers Nearly Sweeps Poles at ‘The Rock’

  • Nov 07, 2003

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 7, 2003) – Brian Vickers earned his first career NASCAR Busch Series pole position on Friday at North Carolina Speedway, driving his No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet to a 155.037-mph lap. And he wasn’t done yet.

Following Busch Series qualifying, Vickers joined his No. 25 UAW-Delphi team for NASCAR Winston Cup Series time trials and nearly pulled off a historic sweep, holding the pole position until Ryan Newman, the 46th of 46 qualifiers, nicked him as the session closed.

Vickers, 20, will start on the Winston Cup front row for the second consecutive week, marking his third top-five start in four career events.

The Busch Series pole position is the first of Vickers’ career and marks GMAC Racing’s 16th top-10 start in the last 17 races. Overall, the team has earned 22 top-10s in qualifying this year.

“I’m excited about having that pole,” said Vickers, who was the third of 54 drivers to make a qualifying run. “Normally you fight to go later. We were fortunate to have the weather the way we did today.”

Kyle Busch, who was 13th in pre-qualifying practice, will start 17th after posting a lap of 152.391 mph in the No. 87 ditech.com Chevy. It will be only his second start outside the top 10 in Busch Series competition.

Saturday’s Target House 200 will mark the seventh and final Busch Series event of the season for Busch, who will drive the No. 5 Chevrolets full-time on the circuit next season. The Las Vegas native has two runner-up finishes on the tour this year.

In the No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo, Jeff Gordon was 16th in Winston Cup time trials, followed by Jimmie Johnson, who will start 18th in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy.

Terry Labonte was 20th in the No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Chevy, putting all four Hendrick Motorsports teams in the top 20. Sunday’s Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 will mark Labonte’s 50th start at North Carolina Speedway.

Saturday’s Busch Series event will be broadcast live by TNT and MRN Radio beginning at 1 p.m. ET, while coverage of the Winston Cup 400-miler will start at 12:30 p.m. ET on those same stations the following afternoon.

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