John Andretti won the first pole of his Winston Cup career and in the process set an event record in gaining the top starting spot for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway at Darlington, S.C.
Andretti, the nephew of retired racing great Mario Andretti and cousin of Indy-car star Michael Andretti, had a lap of 167.379 mph on the 1.366-mile Darlington track.
Ricky Rudd, trying to extend to 12 his string of winning at least one race a year, was second at 167.186 mph.
Larry Pearson took a major step toward a South Carolina sweep on the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series this season by winning the pole for the Gatorade 200 at Darlington Raceway. Pearson drove a Chevrolet to a lap of 161.429 mph.
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