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Biffle wins Craftsman 200 pole

Rookie Greg Biffle, who crashed out of last week's Craftsman Truck race on the third lap, won the pole position for the Craftsman 200 on Friday.

Biffle, a former Portland Speedway champion, drove his Jack Roush-owned Ford F-150 truck to a fast lap of 88.435 mph to edge Stacy Compton for the No. 1 starting spot in Sunday's 32-team field.

Compton raced around the half-mile asphalt oval at 88.335 mph during the single round of qualifying for the $304,000 race.

Open-wheel graduate Randy Tolsma, a Portland winner in midget race cars, claimed the third starting position in his Chevrolet at 88.166.

Ron Barfield, a late qualifier, bumped his way into the top-four positions, driving his Chevy to a fast lap of 88.024.

Rick Crawford, one of two 1998 series winners in the field, qualified his Ford fifth fastest at 87.951.

BOSCH G.P.: A call with his mentor helped Brazilian rookie Helio Castro-Neves turn the quickest lap in practice for Sunday's CART race at the Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.

His mentor is countryman Emerson Fittipaldi, a retired double Formula One world champion driver and two-time Indy 500 winner who won his last CART race at Nazareth in 1995.

"Emerson, of course, gave me a lot of advice about this track," said Castro-Neves, making only his fourth start in the CART Champ Car Series.

But he would not elaborate on what Fittipaldi said because the retired veteran's nephew, Christian Fittipaldi, and Greg Moore, his closest rivals, were in the room listening.

Fittipaldi's engineer when he won in 1995 was Tom Brown, the team director and chief engineer for Castro-Neves' Bettenhausen Racing team.

At the beginning of the season, owner Tony Bettenhausen announced Emerson Fittipaldi was hired to be the team's technical adviser. Fittipaldi could not be at the track because he was in Miami recovering from surgery for a fractured vertebra.

Without any experience at this track in this series, Castro-Neves was dependent on his crew to set up his Reynard Mercedes-Benz for the .946-mile oval.

"This is my first time here with Champ Cars, but Tom really knows this track," Castro Neves said after recording a lap of 18.888 seconds or 180.305 mph. "He is amazing."

Moore, the youngest driver to win in the series, was second fastest at 18.962 in another Reynard Mercedes-Benz. Fittipaldi was third fastest at 19.008 in a Swift Ford.

PENNZOIL NATIONALS: Joe Amato (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Barry Grant (Pro Stock) and Matt Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the leaders after qualifying in Dinwiddie, Va.

Force, a seven-time NHRA Winston champion from Yorba Linda, Calif., earned the top spot by running a track-record speed 310.66 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.

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