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Jeff Gordon wins pole in Atlanta

Sprint Cup
Friday, March 07, 2008

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Gordon celebrates Coor's Light Pole

For the second time in this young NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row for an event.  Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will lead the field to the green in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS).  Carl Edwards, winner of the last two Sprint Cup events, will start fourth. 

Rain once again threatened to wash out the Friday qualifying session.  However, after a short delay, qualifying was able to resume.  This saved NASCAR from having to start the event based on 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points for the second time in four races.

Jeff Gordon rebounded from last week's Las Vegas accident to win the pole for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday night after turning a lap of 185.251 mph.  Gordon drove his DuPont Chevy to his 64th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole in the session which was slowed briefly by a passing shower.

"This is a very fast race track, and it’s tough to get around here quick,” Gordon said.

“Today we got out in practice and I thought was something was wrong with the car it was so far out of control. We kept making progress, and to go out and put down that kind of lap feels great.”

“It’s time for us to get ourselves up to where we need to be in the points,” said four-time series champ Gordon.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start outside the front row.

"It would be great to win here,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

“I love this race track. We need to get a victory as soon as we can, but I think every team in the garage feels that way.”

Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five. Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin completed the first 10 qualifiers.

Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 is slated for a 2 p.m. (ET) green flag.

POS

CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 185.251 29.927 Leader
2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 184.862 29.990 -0.063
3 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 183.807 30.162 -0.235
4 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 183.297 30.246 -0.319
5 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 183.249 30.254 -0.327
6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 182.910 30.310 -0.383
7 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 182.753 30.336 -0.409
8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 182.627 30.357 -0.430
9 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 182.344 30.404 -0.477
10 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 182.332 30.406 -0.479
11 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 182.207 30.427 -0.500
12 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 182.135 30.439 -0.512
13 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jackson Hewitt 181.920 30.475 -0.548
14 6 David Ragan Ford AAA 181.866 30.484 -0.557
15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 181.824 30.491 -0.564
16 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 181.777 30.499 -0.572
17 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 181.747 30.504 -0.577
18 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin 181.735 30.506 -0.579
19 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley's Big Red 181.515 30.543 -0.616
20 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Energizer / Menards 181.455 30.553 -0.626
21 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge Cintas 181.331 30.574 -0.647
22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 181.307 30.578 -0.651
23 40 Dario Franchitti* Dodge Fastenal 181.283 30.582 -0.655
24 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 181.011 30.628 -0.701
25 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 180.964 30.636 -0.709
26 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Valvoline / Jim Beam 180.875 30.651 -0.724
27 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 180.592 30.699 -0.772
28 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 180.527 30.710 -0.783
29 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 180.516 30.712 -0.785
30 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 180.398 30.732 -0.805
31 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com 180.363 30.738 -0.811
32 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Home Depot "10 Years Strong" 180.228 30.761 -0.834
33 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge Penske Truck Rental 180.047 30.792 -0.865
34 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 180.047 30.792 -0.865
35 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 179.977 30.804 -0.877
36 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 179.720 30.848 -0.921
37 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 179.516 30.883 -0.956
38 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 179.359 30.910 -0.983
39 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg's / CARQUEST 178.677 31.028 -1.101
40 45 Kyle Petty+ Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 178.643 31.034 -1.107
41 01 Regan Smith+* Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 177.102 31.304 -1.377
42 28 Travis Kvapil+ Ford Zaxby's 176.904 31.339 -1.412
43 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS Champion's Provisional
Did Not Qualify
44 49 Ken Schrader Dodge Qtrax.com 179.778 30.838 -0.911
45 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie Nutty Bars 179.737 30.845 -0.918
46 27 Johnny Benson Toyota Toyota Certified Used Vehicles 179.412 30.901 -0.974
47 08 Burney Lamar Dodge rhino's energy drink 176.420 31.425 -1.498
48 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports 176.173 31.469 -1.542

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