Rice grabs fifth pole win of 2004

Lebanon, TN (Sports Network) - Buddy Rice went out third and posted a fast early qualifying time, then had to wait to find out if he had gone quick enough to win the pole for Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway.

His lap of 24.6648 seconds (216.016 m.p.h.) around the 1.5-mile tri-oval stood up to the challenge of Brazilian Tony Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr. and Rice earned his fifth pole of the season.

Billy Boat (1998) holds the IRL single season mark with six pole wins.

"It shows how hard everyone at Rahal-Letterman Racing has been working, we're just looking for a championship," said Rice. "I put down the best lap I could and then just sat back and hung out."

Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing Honda finished second best (24.6974) and will start on the front row with Rice. Kanaan leads Rice through the first 10 events by 57 points (400-343). Dan Wheldon, who will start 11th on the grid, is in third-place overall 89 points behind the Brazilian.

The Penske Racing No.3 Toyota, driven by Hornish Jr. will start in row two alongside Adrian Fernandez (24.7439). Hornish Jr. is the defending race champion winning last year's event by 1.1712 seconds over runner-up Scott Dixon.

Bryan Herta and Townsend Bell did not make qualifying attempts and will start 21st and 22nd, respectively.

The race is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. (et).

By The Source
Aug 15, 2004
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