-- The track record fell again and again in qualifying at resurfaced Richmond International Raceway on Friday, but two drivers also crashed as the asphalt went from grippy to slippery.
Twenty-nine drivers broke Ward Burton's record of 127.389 mph, led by rookie Brian Vickers, who won his first pole with a lap at 129.983 mph.
"Everything just came together for us," said Vickers, who will start his 16th Nextel Cup race. "The track didn't bite us like it did some of these guys. It was a good, smooth, patient but aggressive lap."
Ricky Craven and rookie Kasey Kahne crashed early in the session, causing others to get conservative instead of trying to get the pole.
"I worried about everybody being so loose, and I drove it too easy," said Rusty Wallace, who will start seventh in the Chevy American Revolution 400 on the three-quarter-mile oval Saturday night.
"I should have got in deeper. I was waiting for it to go all over the place, and it didn't do it. I didn't hustle it enough," he said.
Left to bake in sunshine for more than an hour and a half after a practice in which 22 drivers surpassed 130 mph, the slick track surprised some of the first drivers to make their qualifying laps.
Not among them was Ryan Newman, one of the Nextel Cup Series' top qualifiers whose lap was good enough to earn him the No. 2 spot.
"Going out first was not exactly what we wanted to do," said Newman, whose qualifying speed was 129.970 mph, well off his fastest lap of 132.567 mph in practice. That lap was easily tops among all drivers, but it also came before the oils rose to the top as the blacktop baked.
Craven, fourth on the qualifying grid, spun during his second trip around and crashed into the outside wall coming out of the fourth turn.
Kahne, who had been second-fastest in practice, also spun in the same spot and said he'll start at the back in a backup car Saturday night.
Notes: Kyle Busch started first and stayed there almost all the way, leading 236 laps and earning his first career victory in the Busch Series Funai 250 on Friday night.
"This is only one of many hopefully," said Busch, 19, who had three second-place finishes in his brief career. He also moved into the series points lead, passing Martin Truex Jr., who was seventh, by 15 points.