Michael Schumacher won the pole yesterday for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest with teammate Rubens Barrichello beside him -- the fourth time this season Ferrari will start from both front-row spots.
Schumacher captured his seventh pole in 2004 and is going for his 12th victory in 13 races this season. If he wins today, the German becomes the first Formula One driver with 12 victories in a season. He's already the first to have won 11, doing so twice.
BAR-Honda took both places on the second row during yesterday's qualifying, with Japan's Takuma Sato timed in 1 minute 19.693 seconds, just ahead of English teammate Jenson Button (1:19.700). Renault's Fernando Alonso was fifth (1:19.996) and BMW-Williams driver Antonio Pizzonia was sixth (1:20.170).
The next four spots went to Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams (1:20.199), Giancarlo Fisichella of Sauber (1:20.324), Jarno Trulli of Renault (1:20.411) and Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren (1:20.570).
The only race Schumacher failed to win this season was in Monaco when he was leading and knocked out in an accident while a safety car was on the track. He has won in Hungary three times, although he was eighth a year ago.
Schumacher most likely will clinch his seventh drivers' title in two weeks in Belgium. He has 110 points, followed by Barrichello (74), Button (61), Trulli (46) and Alonso (39).
Ferrari can win the team title today if Renault fails to gain at least 10 more team points than Ferrari. Ferrari has 184 points with Renault 99 behind.
Yesterday was overcast with a hint of showers. Today, temperatures are expected in the high 70s with clear skies.
* NASCAR NEXTEL CUP: Polesitter Jimmie Johnson's first hope is that he and teammate Jeff Gordon make it cleanly through the first turn today at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
It didn't work out that way last year in the Sirius at the Glen, when Gordon was spun out by Greg Biffle at the start of the race.
"We may joke with each other about it," Johnson said, referring to Gordon. "With the respect we have for one another and our desire to finish the race, I don't think there will be an issue."
They start on the front row as a result of the cancellation of qualifying for the race because of rain. The field was set on the basis of car-owner points.
Johnson holds a 97-point lead over Gordon in the Nextel Cup standings, so both have something to protect in the second of NASCAR's two annual road-course races. Johnson is seeking his first career victory on a serpentine layout, while Gordon will try to extend to five his record for wins on this 2.45-mile track and his overall mark of nine on road courses.
It's difficult to play down the importance of safely negotiating the first turn, a sharp right-hander at the end of a long, downhill straightaway. A miscalculation in position or braking can put a driver in the runoff trap.
* CHAMP CAR: After setting a track record in the opening qualifying round, Sebastien Bourdais set his sights on another mark for the second: the one-minute mark.
Mission accomplished. Bourdais broke the track record three more times, securing the pole for today's Grand Prix of Denver with a time of 59.942 seconds (99.516 mph) on the 1.65-mile course.
* IRL: Buddy Rice won his fifth Indy Racing League pole of the season at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., moving within one of the series record.
Rice's qualifying speed of 216.016 mph left the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion one short of Billy Boat's record six poles, set in 1998.
Rice is tied for the IRL lead in victories at three with Tony Kanaan, who joins Rice on the front row for today's Belterra Casino Indy 300.