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NEWMAN CAPTURES FOURTH POLE OF YEAR

Ryan Newman solidified his reputation as the fastest driver in NASCAR by winning his fourth pole of the season in qualifying Friday at Dover International Speedway.

It was the second straight top start and 11th overall for Newman, who again leads the Winston Cup circuit after posting a series-best seven last year.

He hustled his Penske Dodge around The Monster Mile in 22.682 seconds, turning a fast lap of 158.716 mph.

"We have lots of horsepower," Newman said, deferring credit to his crew. "It was a great team effort.

"The car unloaded off the truck very fast, and we didn't have to do too much with it. I just go out and drive the car for all it's worth."

Newman finished fifth after taking the top spot a week ago for the Coca-Cola 600, and on Sunday will be seeking his second victory this year and third of his career.

"The way our season has been going, it's just starting to get going," he said.

Starting second in Sunday's MBNA 400 will be teammate Rusty Wallace, who turned a lap of 157.322 mph. Neither came close to Wallace's 1999 track record of 159.964 mph or Bobby Labonte's event record of 159.320 mph that same year.

Busch pole goes to Nemechek

DOVER, Del. -- Joe Nemechek added another pole to his glittering Busch series resume, taking the top spot with a qualifying record.

It was the third Busch pole this year and 17th overall for 1992 series champion Nemechek, a Winston Cup regular who will try for his 15th Busch career win and third of 2003 today in the Platinum 200.

He likes his chances.

"This is a brand new race car we came up here with a few weeks ago and tested for a day, but all we did was race stuff so qualifying was a feather in our caps," he said. "So we're pretty fast in race trim."

Leffler wins truck race

DOVER, Del. -- Jason Leffler got his first NASCAR truck series victory after dominant teammate Ted Musgrave blew his engine Friday at Dover International Speedway.

Musgrave, the defending champion, looked untouchable in the second half of race, but slowed after a puff of smoke came from the rear of his Dodge with 57 laps remaining in the MBNA 200.

Leffler, running second, assumed the lead in his Dodge and was never seriously threatened. The victory ended a string of frustration for Leffler in the Craftsman Truck series, where he had six second-place finishes.

"I can't believe it," Leffler said. "Ted had some bad luck there, and when he has bad luck we usually have it, too."

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