Ganassi drivers nab pole with inside info

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. - Chip Ganassi spends more time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway than most.

As a car owner in both the Indy Racing League and NASCAR, he's learned plenty of inside information about the track.

His Nextel Cup drivers put it to use Saturday during Allstate 400 qualifying, sweeping the front row spots for today's race.

Reed Sorenson won the pole, averaging 184.207 mph. His fast lap was nearly a full second faster than teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who starts on the outside of the front row.

"Both our cars are pretty good," said Sorenson, who won the Busch Series race in St. Louis last week. "Hopefully we can stay up there all day."

Ganassi is used to Brickyard success. He won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 with Montoya driving and has fielded entries in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for two decades.

"There's something about this place that our team likes," Ganassi said.

EDWARDS BRACED FOR ACTION: Carl Edwards brought more than his medical history with him to his hand specialist's office this week.

Edwards tore the ligament that supports his thumb in a crash during a dirt-track race last Sunday. The hand specialist fit him with a protective brace that will allow him to drive in today's Allstate 400, but only after Edwards brought a steering wheel with him to the office.

"I sat in a chair holding the wheel in front of me and he showed me where I could grip it," Edwards said.

DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car will carry a new sponsor next season as a driver for Hendrick Motorsports. He admitted Friday he'd like to take his car number, 8, with him when he leaves Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season.


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