Green wins Busch pole

April 4, 2002 at 9:05 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, April 4 (UPI) -- Former series champion Jeff Green shattered the qualifying mark Thursday and claimed the pole for the NASCAR Busch Grand National series O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Green covered the 1 1/2-mile high-banked speedway in 27.908 seconds, a full half-second faster than Matt Kenseth's one-year-old record.

He clocked 193.493 miles per hour, nearly four mph quicker than Kenseth's mark.

"As a driver, we all hold our breath trying to get all we can out of it," said Green, who also won the pole here for the inaugural race in 1997. "I think I got everything I could get. We had a solid lap on the first and got the pole on the second."

It was Green's second pole of the season and 20th career on the Busch circuit, where he won the championship two years ago. He became a full-time Winston Cup driver this year but found the time to win the Busch Channellock 250 two weeks ago in Bristol, Tenn.

Green is second in the overall standings with 733 points, seven behind series leader Greg Biffle, who will start 11th in a Ford Taurus.

It was an ideal day for turning it loose as the top 19 qualifiers surpassed Kenseth's previous record of 189.880 mph. Among those was Kenseth himself, another Winston Cup regular who qualified fifth in a Ford at 191.843 mph.

Green clocked the fastest lap by a stock car at Texas Motor Speedway. The record should last one day as Winston Cup drivers -- including Green -- will take a run at the mark of 192.137 mph set by Terry Labonte in 2000.

The front of the field is dominated by drivers from the senior circuit. Alongside Green on the front row is Joe Nemechek, who clocked 192.995 mph. The second row will be made up of rookie Johnny Sauter inside of Winston Cup's Jimmy Spencer.

"I wish I could take my care and run it in the race on Sunday, too," said Nemechek, who lost his ride when Haas Carter Motorsports ceased operations last week. "The Winston Cup pole will be quite a bit faster than we were, but I still think this care would be in the top 10."

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