Sadler Passes Harvick Fails

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TALLADEGA, Ala. - Elliott Sadler topped qualifying Friday afternoon to win the pole for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, his fifth career pole and first with interim crew chief Kevin Buskirk.

Sadler's lap of 189.286 mph earned the Virginia driver his third pole of the season in his M&M's Ford. It was also his second at Talladega after winning the pole for this event in 2003.

"I'm very, very happy to be on the pole here," said Sadler. "Doug and Robert Yates put a lot of emphasis on coming to these restrictor plate races and trying to get a pole, so to get a pole here is pretty cool to see that from their point of view."

Spring Talladega pole winner Kevin Harvick was originally slated to start second, but his time was disallowed by NASCAR after the car failed post-qualifying inspection. He will now start 42nd.

The three violations were: 1. The Shock doors were opened - supposed to be closed, 2. No Fuel Vent - supposed to be outside, 3. Trunk not sealed - there can be no openings.

"When you add up the three different (infractions), it looked like it wasn't just sloppy work," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR VP of Communications. "There will likely be penalties coming out the first of the week."

Harvick's crew chief, Todd Berrier, was already suspended for four races earlier in the year after a fuel cell violation at Las Vegas. Harvick was penalized 25 points for the violation.

With Harvick moving to the back, Sadler will now be joined by his Robert Yates Racing teammate Dale Jarrett on the front row. It was Jarrett's best qualifying effort since being reunited with crew chief Todd Parrott.

"Today is about guys back in the fab shop and the car that they gave us," said Jarrett. "It's a brand new race car and the adjustments Todd and these guys did to get me ready to make two laps today, so my job starts tomorrow - getting it ready for the race."

Ryan Newman will start third in the Alltel Dodge. It marks the best qualifying effort for Newman in eight attempts.

"I'm just happy to be qualifying as well as we are here, knowing how much it means for race trim as far as being fast and the potential to run out front," said Newman.

Tony Stewart will go after his second consecutive restrictor-plate win from the fourth position with last year's pole winner, Joe Nemechek, rounding out the top five.

Bobby Labonte, Scott Riggs, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards completed the top-10 qualifiers.

The DEI duo of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip, who have combined to win six of the last eight races at Talladega, will start 20th and 25th, respectively. Martin Truex Jr. qualified a third team car in the 17th position.

Rusty Wallace, who comes into Talladega second in the point standings, blew an engine in his qualifying run and will start 41st.

"The oil was very, very hot when they sent me out there, and the engine never came up all the way," Wallace said. "It was like 500 RPMs off, so I hit the radio button on the backstretch and said, 'Guys, we've got a problem here. Something's wrong.' It was 500 RPMs off. And finally coming to the starting line, it just blew itself to crap."

Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 will take the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET) with live television coverage on NBC.

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