Rain washes out Pepsi 400 qualifying
With 14 of the 53 cars still waiting to qualify, rain showers moved over "The World Center of Racing" and NASCAR was forced to set the field based on owner's points.
Jeff Gordon, a three-time Pepsi 400 champion and the current points leader, will start from the pole in the No. 24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevrolet and Denny Hamlin will start on the outside pole.
The rain showers ruined the qualifying chances for a number of teams outside the top 35 in owner's points who needed to qualify for the Pepsi 400 including Boris Said, who was sitting on the pole.
"As much as we needed rain for as bad as we qualified, it's really upsetting for those guys who were outside of the top 35, especially guys like Boris who put up such a great effort," Gordon said. "It was pretty exciting to see him running as good as he did here last year. So, I know they are disappointed.
"It's unfortunate that you can't control Mother Nature and the rules are the rules. It's hard to be too overjoyed about this pole because I do feel for those guys. But certainly from where we're sitting, we trimmed the car out to get it to race as good as we can and knew we took a lot of the speed out of it. And the only thing we were lacking is a good starting position. This certainly turns all that around."
"I'm disappointed," remarked Said, who won the Pepsi 400 pole last year. "The biggest loss is that we had a chance to be in the Bud Shootout again. That would've been a pretty big thrill. We put so much work in this car, and now we have the most expensive show car ever built."
The 49th annual Pepsi 400 is scheduled to go green at 8 p.m. on Saturday and tickets are available at 1-800-PITSHOP or at the gate..
Pepsi 400 Starting Lineup
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Pepsi / DuPont
2 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Kinko's
3 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers / DEWALT
4 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's
5 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility
6 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot
7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot
8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil
9 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet Principal Financial Group
10 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / NWTF
11 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg's
12 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's
13 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser
14 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL
15 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Marathon Saw Blades
16 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite
17 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries
18 16 Greg Biffle Ford Dish Network
19 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Pillsbury / Cinnabon
20 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline
21 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC
22 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW
23 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV
24 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA Travel
25 7 Robby Gordon Ford Camping World / RVs.com
26 40 David Stremme Dodge Coors Light
27 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers
28 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target
29 14 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Waste Management
30 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Haas Automation
31 88 Ricky Rudd Ford M&M's
32 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M's Red, White & Blue
33 13 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Charleston S.C. Fire Dept.
34 45 John Andretti Dodge Tire Kingdom
35 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation
36 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull
37 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS
38 21 Bill Elliott Ford U.S. Air Force
39 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools
40 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar
41 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards
42 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Burger King
43 78 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing