Vasser gives PKV Racing first-ever pole

Updated: June 4, 2005, 11:13 AM ET
Associated Press

WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Jimmy Vasser and A.J. Allmendinger will share the front row for Saturday's Road Runner 225 at the Milwaukee Mile, the first time Americans have qualified 1-2 in the Champ Car World Series in eight years.

Vasser took his ninth career pole and first since the spring of 2002 at Long Beach, with a lap of 176.235 mph on Friday. He was followed by Allmendinger, last year's top Champ Car rookie, at 176.001.

Vasser, the oldest driver in the series at 39, also gave the PKV Racing team its first pole in its three years of competition. Vasser is the "V" in PKV.

"It's very satisfying, and not from an ego standpoint," the former series champion said. "I came into this race team to help build it, to move it forward. That's the satisfaction for me."

The last time two Americans started from the front row at a Champ Car event was at California Speedway in 1998, when Scott Pruett started from the pole alongside Vasser.

Englishman Justin Wilson was third on Friday at 175.867, followed by Brazilian Cristiano da Matta at 174.742, Canadian Paul Tracy at 174.685 and Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning series champion, at 173.965.

Spaniard Oriol Servia, subbing for Bruno Junqueira, injured in a crash last Sunday in the Indianapolis 500, was ninth at 171.928.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press