Mexican fans cheer one of their own to pole

Associated Press
Published March 6, 2005

MEXICO CITY - Jorge Goeters made sure NASCAR's first weekend in Mexico was a success.

The Mexican driver stunned the field and thrilled hometown fans Saturday, topping qualifying for today's Telcel-Motorola 200, edging veteran Robby Gordon.

"It was really cool to see that guy get the pole, to see all the fans going crazy with the air horns going," said defending series champ Martin Truex, who qualified third. "I don't think they'd have done that for me."

Goeters, who is making his NASCAR debut, called it "the happiest day of my life" after his Brewco Motorsports No. 66 Ford dropped Gordon to second on the 2.518-mile road course.

As for the more prominent Mexican drivers, Adrian Fernandez spoiled a torrid lap when he slid wide on Turn 6 and hit a wall. He'll use a provisional spot and line up 40th. Michel Jourdain recovered from a practice crash and qualified 18th.

FORMULA ONE: Giancarlo Fisichella won the opener, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, capping a weekend highlighted by a downpour in qualifying that ended Michael Schumacher's hopes of defending his race title.

Fisichella finished in 1:24:17 in a Renault. Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was second followed by Fisichella's teammate, Fernando Alonso. Schumacher, who won 13 races last year en route to his seventh world championship, crashed out with 15 laps left after starting in the back row.

ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES: Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli earned their second consecutive series victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway, winning the Grand Prix of Miami by 1.198 seconds in a Pontiac Riley.