Brendan Gaughan was forced to take a provisional to start the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Gaughan will start the event from the 40th position on Sunday, Nov. 7.
Gaughan was the 44th driver of 50 to make his qualifying attempt. His fast lap of 27.630 seconds, or 130.293 mph, bettered his practice speed by one-tenth of a second. Despite the improvement, it wasn’t enough to make the race on speed alone. This is the second provisional the team has used this year.
Following his qualifying lap, Gaughan said his car was tight in the center of the turns and needed more front grip.
Gaughan’s Penske-Jasper-powered teammate Ryan Newman secured the pole position. This is the ninth time in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season that Newman has started from the point. His qualifying lap of 26.499 seconds, or 135.854 mph, was close to 2 mph faster than even the second place qualifier.
Rusty Wallace will start his Penske-Jasper-powered Dodge from the 15th position.