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Hill takes pole for French GP

Britain's Damon Hill edged world champion Michael Schumacher for the pole position for the French Grand Prix Saturday, as both expressed concern about the weather for the race.

After a week of sunny weather, rain was forecast for today's event. That could turn the race into a scramble, rather than another struggle between the Williams-Renault of Hill and the Benetton-Renault of Schumacher.

Rain began to fall two hours after Saturday's qualifying.

Schumacher won three of the season's first five races and Hill won the other two, before Jean Alesi stopped their domination with a victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hill gained the seventh pole of his career with a time of 1 minute, 17.225 seconds over the 2.64-mile circuit, an average of 123.133 mph, during Saturday's second qualifying session.

Schumacher's best was 1:17.512. Hill's teammate, David Coulthard, was third at 1:17.925.

Schumacher leads the driver standings with 36 points. Hill is second with 29 and Alesi third with 24.

Grand National: It was both a first and a last for driver Dennis Setzer.

As the fastest qualifier for today's $356,788 Sears Auto Centers 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, Setzer won his first pole in the series. But it came in what will be the last race for Setzer with his current team.

Owner Daniel Welch, who has sponsored the team through his own group of tractor-trailer driving schools since starting the team, has announced that he will fold the 7-year-old organization after the Milwaukee event. Setzer said he and his teammates are determined to send their car owner out as a winner.

Setzer, driving a Ford, toured the 1-mile oval at a speed of 114.650 mph, barely beating the 114.642 speed posted by Joe Ruttman's Ford. Ruttman was subbing for Mike Wallace, the defending race winner, who was competing in the Pepsi 400. Wallace will drive today.

"We came up here to go for broke," said Setzer, who won two races last year, his rookie season.

NASCAR SuperTruck: Pole-sitter Mike Skinner won for the fifth time this year when leader Setzer lost traction in the third turn with less than three laps left at the Milwaukee Mile.

The $156,050 Auto Center 125, in which the lead changed hands a series record 12 times, came down to a battle in the final laps between Skinner's Chevrolet and the Dodge of Setzer, who started on the outside of the front row. They traded the lead three times between laps 112 and 124 before Skinner prevailed by 0.31 seconds.

Skinner averaged 87.413 mph for the 125-mile distance, winning $21,200.

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