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Joe Bessy Wins Pole for Gateway 300

25 July 1997

MADISON, IL - Joe Bessey has won the pole position for tomorrow's inaugural Gateway 300 at Gateway International Raceway. Bessey's speed of 130.993 mph (34.353 seconds) will go down in the books as the first NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division track record at the 1.25-mile oval located just outside of St. Louis, MO.

Rounding out the top five are Ricky Craven, Glenn Allen, Jr., Joe Nemechek and Dick Trickle.

Elliott Sadler was forced to go to a backup car for time trials after hitting the outside wall between turns one and two during practice. Sadler was able to manage a 12th place qualifying effort at a speed of 129.627 mph.

Taking provisional starting positions for the 240-lap event are Kevin Lepage, Hermie Sadler, Dennis Setzer, and Stevie Reeves.

Ten drivers failed to qualify for the race. They are: Kenny Wallace, Jeff Krogh, Bobby Hillin, Scot Walters, Mike Waltrip, Doug Reid, III, Mark Day, Perry Tripp, Brad Payne, and Bill Hoff.

Lori Vizza -- The Auto Channel