Gordon Springs To Pole

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Jeff Gordon ripped off a fast lap of 94.307 mph to claim the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Gordon's DuPont Chevrolet claimed his third career pole at the half-mile Virginia track.

"It's just awesome when you show up and unload off the truck and you're close, and you've got guys that trust and believe in you," Gordon said.

"The grip came right on the first lap,'' Gordon said. "When I knew that the grip was there, that's when I really just charged for the second lap. That's about as good a lap as I've ever put around Martinsville."

Last week's Talladega winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will start outside the front row in his Budweiser Chevrolet.

"The car was there. I just made a little mistake getting into one,'' Earnhardt said. "I should have run a little bit faster, but it's pretty decent.

"It's a tough race track," he said. "All day long you're constantly on the bumper of one guy and you've got another guy on your door. You're trying not to spin somebody out and not to get spun out at the same time."

Ryan Newman, Ken Schrader and Rusty Wallace rounded out the Top 5. Joe Nemechek, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace and Jeff Burton completed the first ten qualifiers.

Sunday's Virginia 500 will take the green flag at 1 p.m. (ET) and be televised live on FOX.

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