Patrick qualifies third after threatening top spot

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. --- Less than a week after her historic first IndyCar victory, Danica Patrick put away her smile and went back to work on the racetrack Saturday, qualifying third for the IRL race at Kansas Speedway.

While Target Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon swept the front row in qualifying on the 1.5-mile oval, Patrick was the focal point as she backed up her win last Sunday in Japan with a solid run.

Dixon, who won from the pole in the season-opener in March at Homestead-Miami Speedway, took the top spot early in the Kansas qualifying with a four-lap average of 213.956 mph.

Patrick nearly knocked the New Zealander off the top spot with her consistent run of 213.225, but she was bumped back to the second row by Wheldon, the last of 27 drivers to make a qualifying run. His average was 213.641.

FORMULA ONE: In Barcelona, Spain, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen edged Renault's Fernando Alon-so to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Raikkonen will start first on the grid for the 15th time today after going around in 1 minute, 21.813 seconds.

NHRA: In Commerce, Ga., Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson and the other three provisional qualifiers maintained the top spots in final qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals.

Wilkerson's run of 4.774 seconds at 325.92 mph Friday in his Chevy Impala SS was enough to keep him in the top spot.

Cory McClenathan and his Top Fuel dragster entered Saturday qualifying in the No. 1 spot, and his run of 4.562 at 327.03 mph was strong enough for the top spot.

Ron Krisher held the No. 1 spot, driving his Chevy Cobalt to a 6.644 at 207.69 mph for the top spot in Pro Stock.

Andrew Hines kept his Harley Davidson Motorcycle in the No. 1 spot, driving to a 6.950 at 191.40 mph for the Pro Stock Motorcycle top qualifying position.

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