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ARCA: Steele Continues Dominance, Grabs Pole for Saturday's Winn Dixie 300

10 October 1998

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Tim Steele, who has dominated the competition in recent years at the "World's Fastest Speedway," did it again Thursday. Steele captured the pole for Saturday's ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series Winn Dixie 300 by nearly two miles per hour.

Steele, driving his familiar No. 16 HS Die/Softech Ford Thunderbird, won his fifth ARCA Series pole of the season. The Coopersville, Mich. native toured the 2.66-mile high-banked facility in 50.738 seconds, for an average speed of 188.734 mph. Steele, who leads the all-time ARCA superspeedway victory list with 19, will attempt to win his third consecutive Winn Dixie 300 on Saturday.

"I love coming here," said Steele. "Ever since we tested here a little while ago, everything has gone like clockwork. It's really unbelievable. The cars are really good, Ernie (Elliott) does a great job with the motors and the guys have really been working hard.

"I didn't realize I could hold my breath for that long," continued Steele, referring to the rough ride the cars are set up for during qualifying. "The guys worked on the shocks quite a bit, so I think I held my breath for about two minutes. Maybe I should be one of those underwater swimmers."

Steele was followed in qualifying by Bill Baird (186.929 mph), Dan Pardus (186.834 mph), Doug Reid (186.612 mph), and Mark Thompson (186.568 mph).

The top 25 positions were secured in Thursday's qualifying with the rest of the starting order determined in second-round qualifying today (Friday) at 9:15 a.m.

The best of the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series gets the green flag Saturday at 12 noon (CDT) for the Winn Dixie 300, while the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Winston 500 is set for a 12 Noon (CDT) start on Sunday. For tickets, contact the Speedway ticket office at (205) 362-9064.