Cale Yarborough appeared to lock up the pole position for the $1 million Daytona 500 yesterday with a spectacular qualifying lap of more than 200 miles per hour, only to crash the next time around and find himself without an entry.
The three-time Winston Cup champion broke the Daytona track record on his first trip around the 2.5-mile, high-banked oval, turning in a lap at an average speed of 200.503 mph in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.
On his next time around, the car flipped after sliding into a turn and, although Yarborough was not injured, the crash damaged the frame of the car so badly that the Ranier team was forced to withdraw the entry.
Since the team has a race-ready Pontiac LeMans back at its shop in Charlotte, N.C., it immediately dispatched a transporter to make the 18-hour round trip with the hope that it will arrive in Daytona in time for practice Tuesday.
Ricky Rudd's top lap of 198.864 in a Monte Carlo moved him up from the second position to the pole, while Geoff Bodine's 197.139 lap in a Pontiac Grand Prix put him on the outside pole for Sunday's race.