There's no stopping Juan Montoya.
The 23-year-old Colombian rookie, aiming for a record-tying fourth straight CART victory on Saturday in the Motorola 300, will start from the pole for the second consecutive race.
Montoya drove his Honda-powered Target-Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard around the 1.27-mile Gateway International Raceway oval at 182.778 mph today, beating runner-up Paul Tracy's 182.195.
A fourth straight win for Montoya would match the feat first accomplished by Al Unser Jr. in 1990, and equaled by Alex Zanardi -- the man Montoya replaced and last year's Gateway winner -- in 1998.
With 25 of the 27 drivers in the field qualifying within one second of the pole time, Tracy said a very competitive race is likely. "Juan and I ran side-by-side for a few laps this morning," Tracy said, referring to practice. "Maybe that was a preview of the race."
Helio Castro-Neves of Brazil, who drives for St. Louis trucking magnate Carl Hogan and is a local favorite, was third at 182.130, followed by Patrick Carpentier of Canada at 181.522, Scotsman Franchitti at 181.450 and Canadian Greg Moore at 181.436.