clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SULLIVAN WILL START FROM POLE FOR 16TH TIME IN PORTLAND RACE

Danny Sullivan will start the 100th Indy-car race of his career from the pole position in Sunday's Budweiser-G.I. Joe 200.

Sullivan's track-record lap of 122.129 mph in Friday's first round of qualifying held up through Saturday's second round, earning him his 16th Indy Car pole.Michael Andretti's top speed Friday of 121.643 also held up Saturday for the No. 2 spot on the starting grid for the $700,000 race on the 1.922-mile, nine-turn Portland International Raceway road course.

Al Unser Jr. moved up to third with a 121.277 mph lap on Saturday.

It is the first pole of the year for the 40-year-old Sullivan and his third at Portland. He was the top qualifier in 1985 and 1988, and won the race in 1988.

"I like it here," he said. "Right now I'm just positive. I'm thinking good things.

"But it's going to be a tough race with Michael and those guys. I see Little Al picked up and he seems to have a good road course setup so I'm sure he's not going to be out of the hunt."

Unser was fifth in Friday's qualifying but was more than a mile per hour faster Saturday.

"We worked real hard last night and tried to get a better balance on the car," he said. "But today the track was slick, so we couldn't go after the pole."

Still, he said, Saturday's performance gave him confidence for the race.

"I feel especially good because in the qualifying session today I was one of the quickest."

Both Sullivan and Andretti predicted Friday that their speeds would be faster on Saturday, but they were wrong.

Sullivan, who lives in Aspen, Colo., had Saturday's fastest lap at 122.090 mph. Andretti's top on Saturday was 121.628.