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Tony Stewart Claims Indy 200 Pole Position

A qualifying run of 166.013 mph guaranteed Tony Stewart the pole position for the opening round of the 1997 Indy Racing League, The Indy 200 at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida.

The 25 year old from Rushville, Indiana, piloted his Team Menard Glidden/Menard Special G-Force-Aurora to the top slot ahead of the 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk.

Luyendyk recorded a speed of 164.964 mph in his Treadway Racing/WavePhore G-Force-Aurora car to complete the front row for the 200 mile race.

Buzz Calkins, last year's Indy 200 winner, and his 1996 IRL co-champion Scott Sharp, line up on the second row in G-Force and Dallara chassis for their Bradley Motorsport and AJ Foyt Enterprise teams.

Sixteen of the IRL's brand new chassis and engine combinations qualified for the event, although cars entered for Roberto Guerrero and Jack Miller will be permitted to start despite the non-appearance in qualifying.

Davy Jones, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 runner-up who was injured in an accident during practice on Thursday, was reported awake and talking to medical staff at the Orlando Regional Medical Centre on Friday, although he remains in a critical condition.

His car was taken over by rookie Jeff Ward, who qualified the Monsoon-Galles Racing car in an impressive eigth place.

Grid Line Up

1. Tony Stewart 166.013 mph
2. Arie Luyendyk 164.964
3. Buzz Calkins 164.046
4. Scott Sharp 163.785
5. Eddie Cheever 163.547
6. Scott Goodyear 163.332
7. Davey Hamilton 163.280
8. Jeff Ward 162.660
9. Jim Guthrie 162.280
10. Fermin Velez 161.638
11. Buddy Lazier 161.341
12. Marco Greco 160.214
13. John Paul Jnr 159.553
14. Mike Groff 159.355
15. Jeret Scroeder 154.859
16. Danny Ongais 151.483
17. Roberto Guerrero N/A
18. Jack Miller N/A

N/A : Not Applicable. Drivers did not participate in qualifying truns.

Written and compiled by James Beckett

 1996 onwards. Speed and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission from the editorial team.