Sweet Run For Sadler In Alabama

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TALLADEGA, Ala. – Elliott Sadler grabbed the top spot in qualifying Friday for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series EA Sports Thunder 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a lap of 189.943 mph.

"You've got to go through the room of doom and you have no actual help at all on the race track, so to run a 50.41 I'm pretty happy with that," said Sadler. "The guys did a great job tuning the motor. The fab shop did a good job and I just want to start up front. This is the same car we finished third with in the spring and it's driving very, very well."

Jamie McMurray put his Ganassi Dodge outside the front row with a lap of 189.395 mph. Jimmie Johnson, Sterling Marlin and Jeff Gordon rounded out the Top 5.

Dale Jarrett, Ken Schrader, Casey Mears, Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte completed the first ten qualifiers.

The restrictor plate dominating DEI team had an unusual day of qualifying. Michael Waltrip's NAPA Chevrolet claimed the 18th spot with Dale Earnhardt Jr. 38th and Jason Keller 43rd. Both Earnhardt and Keller were forced to the back, after qualifying 11th and 32nd respectively, because they failed post-qualifying inspection. Keller will start 43rd.

A total of 49 drivers tried to make Sunday's 43-car starting field. Kyle Petty, Kevin Lepage, Jason Leffler, Mike Bliss, Steve Park and Todd Bodine did not make the race.

Sunday's 500-mile, 188-lap race is set to take the green flag at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The event will be televised live on NBC TV and MRN Radio will feature live radio coverage.

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