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Jeff Ward Gets First IRL Pole

21 March 1998

By Terry Callahan The Auto Channel

PHOENIX, AZ: Former motorcycle champion, Jeff Ward has captured the first Indy Racing League pole of his career. Ward, who was the Indy 500 rookie of the year in 1997, put his G Force Aurora on top with a speed of 172.753 mph. Hometown favorite Billy Boat, driving for A. J. Foyt/Conseco racing was second. The series points leader, Tony Stewart was quickest in practice but had to settle for third best when it came to qualifying.

The full lineup follows with starting position, (car number), hometown, chassis-engine, and qualifying speed.:

1. (35) Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., G Force-Aurora, 172.753.
2. (11) Billy Boat, Phoenix, Dallara-Aurora, 172.521.
3. (1) Tony Stewart, Indianapolis, G Force-Aurora, 172.505.
4. (7) Jimmy Kite, Stockbridge, Ga., Dallara-Aurora, 172.480.
5. (14) Kenny Brack, Sweden, Dallara-Aurora, 171.404.
6. (15) Eliseo Salazar, Chile, Riley & Scott-Aurora, 171.241.
7. (6) Davey Hamilton, Las Vegas, G Force-Aurora, 170.754.
8. (8) Scott Sharp, E. Norwalk, Conn., Dallara-Aurora, 170.535.
9. (91) Buddy Lazier, Vail, Colo., Dallara-Aurora, 170.124.
10. (44) J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, Dallara-Aurora, 170.108.
11. (21) Roberto Guerrero, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Dallara-Aurora, 170.004.
12. (3) Robbie Buhl, Miami, Dallara-Aurora, 169.932.
13. (30) Raul Boesel, Brazil, G Force-Aurora, 169.531.
14. (4) Scott Goodyear, Carmel, Ind., G Force-Aurora, 169.276.
15. (28) Mark Dismore, Greenfield, Ind., Dallara-Aurora, 169.221.
16. (16) Marco Greco, Brazil, G Force-Aurora, 168.919.
17. (12) Buzz Calkins, Denver, G Force-Aurora, 168.856.
18. (97) Greg Ray, Plano, Texas, Dallara-Aurora, 167.903.
19. (5) Arie Luyendyk, Scottsdale, Ariz., G Force-Aurora, 167.286.
20. (51) Eddie Cheever Jr., Tampa, Fla., Dallara-Aurora, 167.053.
21. (18) John Paul Jr., W. Palm Beach, Fla., G Force-Aurora, 166.482.
22. (77) Stephan Gregoire, France, G Force-Aurora, 166.082.
23. (22) David Steele, Tampa, Fla., Dallara-Aurora, 165.069.
24. (10) Mike Groff, Los Angeles, G Force-Aurora, 164.850.
25. (99) Sam Schmidt, Las Vegas, Dallara-Aurora, 164.677.
26. (23) Paul Durant, Manteca, Calif., G Force-Aurora, 164.647.
27. (20) Tyce Carlson, Indianapolis, Dallara-Aurora, provisional.
28. (17) Brian Tyler, Parma, Mich., Dallara-Aurora, provisional.