Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace don't always agree, something they've demonstrated at times on the race track. But they're in accord on one thing--the outside is no place to be at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.
"It's very important to start up front, especially on the inside," said Gordon, the pole sitter in today's $2.6 million Jiffy Lube 300. "There's not much of an outside groove."
As the only three-time winner at NHIS, Gordon certainly knows the fast way around the 1.058-mile oval. He proved that by winning his sixth pole of the Winston Cup season with a track-record qualifying run of 131.171 mph.
To the right of Gordon in the first row of the 43-car field is Wallace, himself no novice on the low banks of Loudon. He won the inaugural New England race in 1993.
* CART: In Elkhart Lake, Wis., it took some good timing and a little overtime, but Michael Andretti held the pole for today's Texaco/Havoline 200.
Andretti, driving a Newman-Haas Racing Swift-Ford, started yesterday's final qualifying session on the provisional pole, but soon found himself third, trailing rookie sensation Juan Montoya and Gil de Ferran.
Andretti nearly used up both sets of qualifying tires before turning his pole-winning lap of 1 minute 40.208 seconds--145.428 mph, a time just shy of the track record 145.745, set last year when he last won a CART Series pole.
* FORMULA ONE: Mika Hakkinen of Finland won his sixth pole in eight tries for today's British Grand Prix in Silverstone, England. He'll start next to Michael Schumacher, who trails him by eight points in the race for the driver's championship.
Damon Hill, fending off calls for his retirement, will start on the third row. The Englishman was cheered by hundreds of countrymen waving Union Jacks with "Damon Hill" printed in white across the flags' horizontal red bar.
CAPTION: Jeff Gordon will start from pole for sixth time this season after track-record qualifying run at Loudon.