Burton Grabs Chicago Pole

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JOLIET, Ill. - The last time Jeff Burton won a pole he finished 32nd in the Daytona 500.

The veteran hopes for a better outcome this weekend.

Burton turned a lap of 181.647 mph to take his second Bud Pole in qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400.

It was the fourth career NEXTEL Cup Series pole for Burton who will be making his 421st career start on Sunday.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," said Burton, who holds the seventh spot in the series point standings. "We're not in the Chase yet. We haven't been winning races."

It's been a pretty dramatic turnaround for the Richard Childress Racing team's Cingular Wireless Chevrolet, but Burton isn't about to begin celebrating a job that isn't over.

"My focus is on the things that we need to get done and those we haven't done rather than looking at and being all happy about where we are and jumping up and down celebrating the gains we have made," he said.

Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the Top 5.

"This place has been great to us," said Harvick, who shoots for his third Chicagoland victory on Sunday. "Obviously we've won here a couple times. Car was good in practice and hopefully we can keep up the success here because obviously it's been good to us."

Bobby Labonte, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and J.J. Yeley completed the first ten qualifiers.

Tood Kluever qualified 35th in the Roush Racing 3M Ford and will make his NEXTEL Cup Series debut on Sunday.

“Our 3M Ford Fusion was – you know, we tested it a few weeks ago and it was really good," Kluever said. "We got here today and it didn’t feel right and the brakes didn’t seem to be working right, and we really struggled through that first practice."

Seven cars failed to qualify for Sunday's race: Paul Menard, Kevin Lepage, Chad Blount, Brent Sherman, Mike Garvey, Derrike Cope and Carl Long.

Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 will take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

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