tampabay.com

Sutton makes trucks history

Kelly Sutton will vie for her first top-10 finish today in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 in Kansas City.

By wire services
Published July 2, 2005


KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Kelly Sutton is poised to enter the record book in NASCAR's Truck series. What she really wants is to make its list of successful drivers.

Sutton, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 16 and sponsored by the company that makes her medication, will make her 33rd career start in the series today at Kansas Speedway.

Sutton shares the record with Tammy Jo Kirk, who made 32 starts in the series in 1997-98. Patty Moise holds the overall NASCAR mark for female drivers with 133 starts in Busch series races from 1986-98.

Earning a first top-10 finish will be a challenge, though, for Sutton. On Friday, she qualified 32nd for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250.

"I think the truck will come to me during the race," she said. "We've built in some adjustability."

Bill Lester earned his second pole at a track-record 173.633 mph in his Toyota on the 11/2-mile tri-oval.

"I'm more excited about this truck in race conditions than in qualifying," said Lester, whose first pole, the first for an African-American driver in the series, came in 2003 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I was really kind of surprised we took the pole."

David Reutimann of Zephyrhills starts fourth. Of the 36 qualifiers, 31 broke the track record of 166.323.

F1 TEAMS RESPOND: The principals of the seven teams that withdrew from the U.S. Grand Prix on June19 in Indianapolis contend they were legally obliged to not race. "There is a law in Indiana which says that if you knowingly conduct a dangerous act, in which you know you are effecting a dangerous act, that alone is enough for conviction," McLaren's Ron Dennis said of the decision of the teams using Michelin tires to withdraw. "Even if we had raced with no accident, we would have been criminally prosecuted."

LAUDA SURGERY: Former Formula One champion Niki Lauda, who received a kidney from his girlfriend, has been released from a hospital in Vienna. The 56-year-old, who won the world title in 1975, '77 and '84, had a kidney donated by his brother in 1997, but it stopped functioning well, the Austria Press Agency reported.