Hamilton grabs German pole

SUN MEDIA WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

At Hockenheim, Germany, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton edged Felipe Massa with his final lap yesterday to claim pole position for the German Grand Prix.

Hamilton went around in one minute 15.666 seconds on his last flying lap to beat his Ferrari counterpart by 0.193 seconds and start first on the grid for the third time this season.

"I knew I had it in me, I knew we had the pace," said Hamilton after claiming his ninth pole in 27 races.

Hamilton is coming off a 68-second victory at the British GP, which gave him the advantage in a three-way tie at the top of Formula One's championship. Massa and Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen also have 48 points.

McLaren has shown significant improvement to its car since last month's French GP, with Heikki Kovalainen leading the second row for today's 67-lap race. The 26-year-old Finn recovered from an early driving error on his penultimate lap to post the third fastest time on his final chance.

Jarno Trulli of Toyota fills the second row from fourth, ahead of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in his Renault.

Defending world champion Raikkonen will start from sixth.

HISTORY WILL HAVE TO WAIT

At Sparta, Kentucky, Kyle Busch came up short in his bid to make NASCAR history last night and Johnny Benson took advantage, holding off Michael Annett to win the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway.

Busch was attempting to become the first driver to win in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series in successive starts, but he fell five spots short of the goal.

DIXON JUST WANTS TO WIN

At Lexington, Ohio, Scott Dixon heads into today's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a series-leading four wins and the IndyCar Series points lead.

Still, with six races remaining on the 2008 schedule and leads of 63 points over Mid-Ohio pole-winner Helio Castroneves and 69 over his Chip Ganassi teammate Dan Wheldon, Dixon insisted it's too early to be thinking about points.

"I think for us, you still go out and try to win races," he said yesterday after qualifying. "If you can win races, it's the easiest way to win championships."

Castroneves and teammate Ryan Briscoe took the top two spots in qualifying. They are followed by Marco Andretti, IndyCar newcomer Justin Wilson, Tony Kanaan and Dixon, who will start sixth.


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