Riggs Sweeps Lowes Poles

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CONCORD, N.C. - Scott Riggs made it a clean sweep of NEXTEL Cup Series poles at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2006 by taking the top spot Thursday night for the Bank of America 500.

Riggs drove his Evernham Motorsports Dodge to his third career pole late in the session with a lap of 191.469 mph.

“We knew we had a good car, and we got a good draw,” Riggs said. “We won the pole in the 600, and I feel like I cost them a pole at Dover. Coming back here we wanted to get back on our streak of qualifying well and finishing well.”

The pole winner led an impressive performance by the Dodge camp, which swept four of the first five positions in qualifying.

Coca-Cola 600 winner Kasey Kahne will start outside Riggs, giving car owner Ray Evernham a second front row sweep in the last three NEXTEL Cup races, with the duo turning the trick earlier this month at Kansas Speedway.

Kahne, who sits ninth in the standings, is now looking ahead to practice to tune his car up for a possible sweep and to gain points.

"We'll need to get our car fast in race practice," Kahne said. "We did about three or four runs today and the car felt really good. It’s going to change a lot Saturday night. If we can stay caught up with it we’ll have a good shot. It’s too early to write it off because we gained almost 100 points last weekend. I was surprised we could do that."

Kurt Busch was third in qualifying but had his time disallowed after the No. 2 Dodge’s right rear shock did not conform to the NASCAR rule book in post qualifying inspection. He will now start 42nd. Additional penalties may be assessed next week.

With Busch moving to the rear of the field, Casey Mears Elliott Sadler and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson and five-time LMS winner Jimmie Johnson completed the first ten qualifiers.

Jeff Gordon had to use a provisional and will start 41st - his first start of 27th or worse in 28 races at LMS.

"We just freed the car up way too much," Gordon said. "I'm just glad to have a car in one piece. It's a great race car. We hate to start in the back but we know we've got a car that can come to the front."

Bill Elliott was one of nine cars that failed to qualify. Elliott was making his debut with the new Red Bull team, which is fielding a Dodge before making the move to Toyota.

"Obviously, it is a big disappointment for the team," said Mart Gaunt, VP, General Manager for Red Bull Racing. "We were looking for a lot better result than what we got here today."

Carl Long and Kenny Wallace, who also were among the cars that failed, crashed during their attempts.

Saturday night's Bank of America 500 will take the green flag at 7 p.m. (ET).

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