Gordon Tops Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Jeff Gordon was the king of the mountain Friday afternoon as he grabbed the pole in qualifying for Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Gordon's DuPont Chevrolet was the only car to break the 15 second barrier and his lap of 128.520 mph was good enough to earn his sixth pole of the season. Gordon, who finished 9th in the spring Bristol race, will be shooting for his sixth career Nextel Cup Series victory at the half-mile speedway on Saturday night.

"We felt like we could push the limit in qualifying." Gordon said. "I tried to make a second lap and I was pushing so hard I almost wrecked. I would have felt awful tearing up on a second lap after that first one."

Kasey Kahne will join Gordon on the front row in his Evernham Motorsports Dodge. Sterling Marlin, Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray rounded out the Top 5, giving Dodge four of the first five starting positions.

Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler, Jeremy Mayfield and Greg Biffle completed the first ten.

Kurt Busch, who is gunning for his fourth straight Bristol win Saturday, qualified 24th. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wound-up 30th in the line-up.

Hermie Sadler, Stanton Barrett, Brad Teague, Tony Ave and Ryan McGlyn did not make the 43-car field.

Saturday's Sharpie 500 will take the green flag at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and be televised live on TNT.

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