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NASCAR-WCUP: Kenny Schrader Grabs Pole for Sunday's Winston 500

11 October 1998

Ken Schrader
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Kenny Schrader held off Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarrett to lead 48 cars in Bud Pole Award Qualifying Friday at Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Winston 500.

Schrader, who captured his first Bud Pole Award of the season and the 21st of his career, toured the 2.66-mile high-banked facility in 48.819 seconds, for an average speed of 196.153 mph. The top 25 positions were secured in Friday's first-round qualifying with the rest of the starting order to be determined in Bud Beer Second-Round Qualifying today (Saturday) at 10:45 a.m.

"I knew the car would be good," said Schrader. "My guys do a great job with the restrictor-plate cars, so they gave me a really good little hot rod today. I always like coming to Daytona and Talladega. I'm just glad we're going to have a real good starting spot come Sunday.

"This really wasn't a surprise to me. We ran fourth here last year and fourth earlier in the year at Daytona. So like I said, our restrictor-plate program is solid and our cars are fast. This is a brand new No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet, because we lost our other one in the accident here in April, so I think we'll be ready to go on Sunday."

Bobby Labonte, who had won both restrictor-plate poles early in the season, was the pre-qualifying favorite but was unable to pick up enough on his second lap to overtake Schrader. However, Labonte did secure the second starting position for Sunday's 500-mile event after posting his quick lap of 48.861 seconds, for an average speed of 195.985 mph.

"That's about the best we run all day," said Labonte. "We picked up a little but it just wasn't enough. This is the same package we had here in April so we'll take second and hopefully we'll end up where we did in the Spring -- victory lane."

Dale Jarrett was third with a lap of 49.100 seconds, for an average speed of 195.031 mph. Terry Labonte, the race's defending champion, just missed placing his No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet on the front row by turning in a lap of 49.175 seconds, for an average speed of 194.733 mph. Rounding out the top five was Mike Skinner (194.429 mph).

NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Jeff Gordon qualified sixth with second-place point man Mark Martin securing the eighth starting position.

The best of the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series takes the green flag today (Saturday) at Noon for the Winn Dixie 300. General admission grandstand tickets for today's event will be available at the gate. While reserved-seat tickets for the Winston 500 are sold, plenty of infield tickets will still be available at the gate on Sunday. For ticket information call (205) 362-9064.

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