LAS VEGAS, March 1 (UPI) -- Todd Bodine, whose Ford Taurus is without a sponsor, won the pole Friday for the NASCAR UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bodine covered the 1 1/2-mile speedway in 31.240 seconds for an average speed of 172.849 miles per hour, breaking the mark of 172.563 mph set two years ago by Ricky Rudd.
Bodine's team is without a sponsor as Kmart, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has pulled out of its deal after the season's first two races.
That left Haas Carter Motorsports to qualify on its own dime with an unadorned car. But Bodine claimed his fifth pole in 148 career Winston Cup starts.
"The money to come out here was already spent on hotel rooms and flight reservations," Bodine said. "The only thing we didn't spend money on already are the tires. It was really a no-brainer to come out here."
Bodine added that the best way to show that the team needs a sponsor is to race on TV. He said Carter Haas is talking to several potential suitors but "nothing is even close to a deal."
If the team does not have a sponsor, it almost certainly will not race next week in Atlanta.
Bodine has had some success in Las Vegas. Last year, he won the Busch race and was fifth in this event after qualifying sixth.
Joining Bodine on the front row is Ryan Newman, who also eclipsed Rudd's old mark with a speed of 172.838 mph. This is the second visit to Las Vegas for Newman, who qualified 35th last year.
Spencer is also on the outside of the front row in Saturday's Busch Sam's Town 300.
Defending champion Jeff Gordon will start 13th in a Chevrolet. Last year, he roared from the back of the pack after starting 24th. Matt Kenseth, who won last week's Subway 400 in Rockingham, will start eighth in a Ford.