Burton Wins Pole Johnson Dqd

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Sunday was a great day for Jeff Burton and Richard Childress Racing. On the other hand, it wasn't so good for Jimmie Johnson and Terry Labonte.

Burton turned the fastest NEXTEL Cup qualifying lap at Daytona in six years when he rocketed his RCR Cingular Wireless Chevrolet around the "World Center of Racing" at 189.151 mph to earn the pole for the 48th running of the Daytona 500.

But long after the qualifying session ended, Johnson saw his fifth fastest time disallowed for failing post-session inspection. The No. 48 was impounded and NASCAR hasn't ruled out the possibility of confiscating the car, which failed the rear window template.

Just like Johnson, Labonte's day didn't go as planned during his first qualifying run in the No. 96 DLP Chevrolet. His 28th-fastest time was also disallowed for an unapproved modification to his carburetor.

Aside from having to start in the back of the pack in the first qualifying race, any further penalties for both teams could come by Monday or Tuesday at the latest according to Jim Hunter, Vice President of Corporate Communications.

"These were serious infractions," said Hunter. "I don't think we would disallow the times if this was not serious."

Burton topped the field of 58 cars - his first pole since Richmond in 2000 - on a cold and windy day at Daytona.

"That's the most we picked up on the second lap since we've been down here in practice or in testing," said Burton. "On that second lap I saw the flags. I've been used to looking at the flags, I can tell how there are going to affect the winds that I have and I could see the flags were in the right direction and I knew that was going to be advantageous, and fortunately it worked in our favor."

It was also the fourth Daytona 500 pole for Childress after turning the trick with Jeff Green (2003), Mike Skinner (1997) and Dale Earnhardt in 1996.

"It's really great to see RCR back up front," said Childress. "We've worked all winter for this."

Jeff Gordon qualified second in the Hendrick Motorsports DuPont Chevrolet locking the front row for the "Great American Race."

"We obviously have to be careful during the 150 qualifier to make sure we can keep this car in one piece," said Gordon who will start the second Duel race from the pole. "We were on the front row one other time (1999) when we sat on the pole and we won that race. So we want to take this front row start and make the best of it as well."

The Robert Yates teammates of Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler were third and fourth, respectively, on the speed charts and will start second and third, respectively, in the first qualifying race.

Bobby Labonte was the fastest Dodge (187.935 mph) while Clint Bowyer topped the eight rookies with a lap of 187.786 mph in the No. 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet.

Matt Kenseth was not able to make a qualifying attempt after he punctured a right-rear tire on his warm up lap.

"Once I crossed the start-finish line I just exploded the tire and it was too late to do anything about it then," said Kenseth, who will start 28th in the first qualifying race.

Bill Elliott was the fastest (ninth overall) among the 23 drivers required to qualify on time assuring him a starting spot.

"Once again, it's one step at a time," said Elliott, who will start fifth in race 1. "One goal has been accomplished and that's getting into next Sunday's big show. We made a good run today and the credit goes to the guys."

The final 41 spots for the Daytona 500 will be set in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races.

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