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Joe Ruttman Wins Truck Series Pole

August 17, 2001

CICERO, Ill. (AP) _ Joe Ruttman, bidding to become the oldest NASCAR truck series champion, is halfway home in defense of last year’s Sears Craftsman 175 victory at Chicago Motor Speedway.

Ruttman won the pole Friday for $486,220 event, Dodge going 115.459 mph.

The pole was the 56-year-old Ruttman’s fourth this season and 17th in Craftsman series competition, two behind Jack Sprague’s series record. Sprague was the second fastest qualifier in his Chevrolet at 115.263.

Ruttman got more speed than he figured his truck was capable of making while Sprague left something on the table.

``When Jack laid his lap down, I said, ’There goes my shot at the pole,‴ said Ruttman, a two-time winner this year. ``The crew changed a lot of stuff just before we qualified. Whatever it was, it made a huge difference.″

Lance Norick who’s yet to win on the circuit in 124 career starts, qualified his Chevy third at 115.058. Ted Musgrave, a four-time series winner this season in a Dodge, was next at 114.833.

Kyle Busch, a 16-year-old Las Vegas high school student, qualified fifth in a Ford at 114.708.

Rick Crawford, Dennis Setzer and rookies Matt Crafton, Ricky Hendrick and Travis Kvapil completed the top-10 qualifiers.

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