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Sharp Wins Pole Position at Orlando

23 January 1999

Lake Buena Vista, Fl-Jan.23, 1999

Qualifying for the Transworld Indy 200 Pole Position at Walt Disney World
was won by Scott Sharp with a time of  21.007 seconds  for a speed of
171.371 mph and a new track record.  For Sharp this was his second pole
of his IRL career and the first since his crash at Pikes Peak
raceway in 1997. The two-lap qualifying effort was not a sure thing until
the second lap was finished. On the first lap Sharp was about one-tenth
of a second off of then pole-sitter Raul Boesel. Sharp realizing that
he was behind  Boesel commented in the post qualifying press conferecne
"I decided to put my foot into it and just went as fast as I
could go."

The qualifying effort of all the teams was commendable considering that
the entire field was covered by 1.5seconds from first to last. Eliseo
Salazar was the only driver not to make the 28 car field. Salazar was
bumped by the "last minute" qualifying effort of Scott Harrington who had
waved off his earlier attempt.

Raul Boesel came out early (4th qualifier) in the single-car qualifying
session and set the pace with a time of 21.152 seconds for a speed of
170.197mph. Boesel's time held up for most of the session until Sharp
and Greg Ray came out to qualify. Boesel commented on his qualifying
attempt "This is the fastest we've ever run here and we did well this
morning. I am looking forward to the race." When Sharp set the quickest
time, the disapointment in the Transworld pit area was obvious. Boesel's
Transworld team is also the name sponsor of the WDW 200. Then it became
time for Greg Ray to turn in his time and for Sharp's team to ponder
losing the pole.  Ray had  waved off an earlier attempt when the car
stalled on the warmup lane due to a problem with the gearbox. Ray was
relegated to the back of the pack. On his first lap it looked like Ray
had a chance to catch Sharp. Ray gave it his all but came up 83/100's of a
second behind Sharp. Ray hiding obvious disapointment about missing the
pole commented that "The car felt good and if we had one more lap we
would have been there." The problem with the gearbox made us go to the
end of the pack."

Qualifying continued with the rest of the field, Scott Goodyear turned in
a time of 21.210 for a speed of 169.731 mph. Goodyear commented "The
car ran good. We changed a few things from this morning. The second time
through, the tires were warmed up, and it made a difference in
speed. Everyone did a great job on the Pennzoil team through the winter
and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

Defending Champion Tony Stewart's new team ended up qualifying 23rd. Not
too bad for a team that was thrown together in less than two
weeks. Stewart and Larry Curry hired former CART driver Gualter Salles. On
Friday, Salles turned in a time of 23.100 for 28th position. On Saturday,
Salles turned in a lap 22.145 seconds for a speed of 162.565 a
considerable improvement. Salles said "The team is improving. It was
our first time on Friday. We need more practices and we'll improve."

The race will get underway at 1:00 pm tomorrow. Televised by ABC.

Top Ten Qualifying	Time		Speed	Lap 1	Lap 2	
Scott Sharp		21.007		171.371	21.122	21.007	
Greg Ray		21.090		170.697	 NT	21.090
Raul Boesel		21.152		170.197	21.195	21.152
Scott Goodyear	        21.210		169.731	21.419	21.210
Kenny Brack		21.357		168.563	21.457	21.357
Jeff Ward		21.384		168.350	21.535	21.384
Sam Schmidt		21.413		168.122	21.478	21.413
Buddy Lazier		21.451		167.824	21.783	21.451
TyceCarlson		21.454		167.801	21.454	21.505
Mark Dismore		21.466		167.707	21.479	21.466	

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel