Ernie Irvan Grabs Pole Position for the NASCAR Winston Cup DieHard 500
11 October 1997TALLADEGA, AL -- It was almost as though Talladega Superspeedway was thrown back in time. The #28 Texaco Ford - painted much as it was ten years ago - when a young man from Alabama showed up and let the world know that he was ready to go racing.
No, it wasn't the late Davey Allison behind the wheel of the #28 as it swept through the turns turns on Talladega's 2.66 mile oval, it was Ernie Irvan who brought back the memories of years gone by when he put that familiarly painted #28 on the pole today at Talladega Superspeedway.
Irvan, on his way to his 5th Talladega pole, circled the track with a 49.547 second (193.271 mph) hot lap. Irvan said, "The color scheme has a lot of significance for me. If the car was black or pink I was going to come down here and try as hard as I can. But there's no doubt the this paint scheme is something that we dominated a lot of the first part of Charlotte with. It's an honor to me to be able to drive this car."
Sitting next to Irvan, on the outside pole, is the pole sitter from the spring Talladega race- John Andretti. Andretti was just a tick off Irvan's time when he ran a 49.574 second (193.166 mph) lap. Andretti said after his run, "Every track we got to we try to win, but this has been a race track we've had a strong combination for. We always qualify up front here and we always race up front. Who knows? Maybe this is our best chance at our second win."
The drivers that round out the top-five are; Mr Excitement - Jimmy Spencer; Jeff Burton in the #99 car and Derrike Cope in the Skittles Pontiac.
Second round qualifying for positions 26 to 38 in the DieHard 500 is set for 11:00 AM central time tomorrow (Saturday). The field will roll with 42 cars after four provisionals are assigned.
The Diehard 500 will roll of Sunday afternoon at 12:00 PM central time. This marks a 15 minute advance of the scheduled time.
Mike Snow -- The Auto Channel