No 36 Team To Start 36Th At Dega

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Ken Schrader was looking forward to this weekend’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

But after running fast in practice Friday at Talladega’ 2.66-mile superspeedway, Schrader slowed down when he qualified. Schrader’s M&Ms Pontiac turned a lap of 183.571 mph, which was good enough for 36th starting spot for Sunday’s race.

Jimmie Johnson won the pole with a lap of 186.532 mph. Robby Gordon qualified on the outside of the front row at 186.409 mph.

Schrader had been 13th fastest in practice, going 184.555 mph. But something happened between practice and qualifying, and Schrader’s car slowed almost three-tenths of a second.

Schrader wasn’t sure what happened to the car.

“No, we don’t know why,” Schrader said. “We slowed up more than a little bit. It slowed up a good three-tenths. That’s going to hurt us a lot.”

Schrader’s practice lap was 51.887 seconds. His qualifying lap was 52.165.

Schrader, who has one victory, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in his career at Talladega, said qualifying for Talladega is only important if you make it in the Top 36.

“You can (throw away qualifying) if you’re in the race,” Schrader said. “You’ve got to make the race first.”

Schrader did that, though 36th wasn’t where he wanted to start. But Schrader fans should take heart, for this race was won from the 36th starting spot two years ago. Jeff Gordon as the driver.

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