Skinner claims 28th career Craftsman Trucks pole
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Mike Skinner moved into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' career poles lead Friday, qualifying first for Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway.
It was the 28th career pole for Skinner, moving him one ahead of Jack Sprague, and his series-leading fourth pole of the season.
Skinner needed only one lap to earn the top spot, going around the 1.5 mile tri-oval in 31.437 seconds with a qualifying speed of 171.772 mph.
"I think it was the luck of the draw today," Skinner said. "The front stretch was shaded and we got a bit of an overcast cover. It all lined up."
But for all of his poles this year, Skinner still hasn't won a race. He is in 11th place in the standings going into the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, with a best finish of second on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.
He started from the pole in that race, but his other pole finishes were 11th in Michigan and 31st at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"I'd give any of these guys the pole if I could know I would get a good two-three finish out of here," Skinner said.
Rick Crawford will start on the outside front after turning in a quick lap of 170.412 mph in his Ford.
"Our crew prepared a really nice piece here," Crawford said. "It's one of the best trucks we have in our stable. It hasn't finished out of the top 10. From the first practice, right off the bat, I realized we had a good truck."
Todd Bodine, the points leader, did not get to run a qualifying lap after his truck failed a qualifying inspection. He will start 35th in Saturday's race, based on owner points standings.
"Unfortunately, I don't know what the deal is," Bodine said. "Our truck went through templates this morning and got a sticker put on it, and we didn't change anything. It's the same truck we've had for two other races, and it went through templates at both the other races."
David Ragan will start third, with Australian rookie Marcos Ambrose on the outside of the second row. They were followed in the top 10 by Terry Cook, Ted Musgrave, Sprague, Erik Darnell, Timothy Peters and Ryan Moore.
"We've got an awesome truck for the race," Ragan said. "If we're in the top five, we'll be ready to go."
Johnny Benson, who has won the last two races, will start 22nd.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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