Ken Schrader, a surprise when he started from the second row in the 1987 Daytona 500, on Saturday earned the pole position for next Sunday's $1.5-million NASCAR race at Daytona Beach, Fla.
Schrader, a new member of the Hendrick Motorsports team, drove a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to a fast lap of 193.823 m.p.h. on the 2.5-mile, high-banked oval at Daytona International Speedway.
In another development at Daytona, Tim Richmond was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for testing positive for a prohibited substance in the sanctioning organization's new drug testing program.
Richmond, 32, a native of Ashland, Ohio, had been trying to find a ride for today's Busch Clash and next Sunday's 500. He could not be reached for comment.
Ironically, the car that Schrader put on the pole Saturday was the entry that Richmond drove the past two years, with Harry Hyde as his crew chief.
Davey Allison was close behind at 193.311 in a Ford Thunderbird, taking the outside spot on the front row.
This was the first test of NASCAR's new one-inch carburetor restrictor plates, mandated by NASCAR in an effort to slow speeds at its two fastest tracks--Daytona and Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega.
Schrader's pole-winning speed was nearly 17 m.p.h. slower than the track-record pole-winning lap of 210.364 set last February by Bill Elliott.
"It's my second pole position, but I don't know how many for that team," Schrader said. "I'm just the guy who drove it. Everybody has been pretty much in place on that team for the last two or three years."
Only the top two qualifiers in Saturday's session, delayed 90 minutes by rain, locked in starting spots. The rest of the field is determined by two 125-mile races Thursday.