Passion is everything.



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Vickers leads Red Bull romp in qualifying at Chicagoland

Joliet, IL (Sports Network) – Brian Vickers recorded his Sprint Cup Series- leading fifth pole of the season while his teammate, rookie Scott Speed, surprisingly qualified second to give Red Bull Racing the front starting row for Saturday’s LifeLock at Chicagoland Speedway.

Vickers lapped the 1.5-mile oval at 184.162 m.p.h. (29.322 seconds) in his No.83 Red Bull Toyota. He has won the last three qualifying sessions in NASCAR’s top division, taking the pole at Sonoma, CA and Michigan last month. Qualifying at New Hampshire and Daytona was rained out, with Tony Stewart awarded the pole based on owner points.

“That car was just unbelievable,” Vickers said. “It was good when we unloaded it, and (the team) made it better.”

Vickers became the eighth different pole winner in nine races at Chicagoland. Qualifying here was rained out last year.

Speed, the last driver in the 46-car field to qualify, posted a lap at 182.958 m.p.h. to secure the outside pole, equaling his best starting position in his Sprint Cup career. He also started second in last year’s season-finale at Homestead.

“The lap that Brian made was amazing, so in the back of my mind, I didn’t think we had a chance for (the pole), but I was hoping for a top-five starting spot,” Speed said. “It’s a whole Red Bull front row, which is probably the first time for that, so obviously we’re doing something right here.”

Speed failed to qualify three weeks ago at Sonoma.

Jimmie Johnson qualified third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.

“We started in race trim and made a lot of good gains and then switched the car into qualifying trim and it was fast there,” Johnson said.

Kyle Busch, the defending race winner, Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose completed the top-10.

Stewart, who currently holds a 180-point lead, qualified 32nd, while fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in 13th.

Saturday’s race is scheduled to start just after 8:00 p.m. (et).