Mar 29 2008

Gordon on Pole for Martinsville, 7th of His Career There

Jeff Gordon takes Martinsville Pole for 2008
Hendrick Motorsports continues it’s dominance at Martinsville Speedway with Gordon claiming his 7th pole there, 65th all time. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have won 8 of the last 10 races at Martinsville, winning 4 each, while Jimmie has won the last three there, I think it’s Gordon’s turn to put his name on the trophy, as he has 7 total wins athe the short track. In fact, check out his overall stats, tops for this track:
Driver Starts Wins Top-5 Top-10

Jeff Gordon 30 7 18 24

Gordon toured the .526-mile short track in 19.666 seconds (96.288 mph) to claim the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Cool Orange 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It was the 65th career pole for Gordon, who has won seven times at Martinsville, twice from the pole.

Denny Hamlin (95.757 mph) qualified second, followed by rookie Aric Almirola (95.733 mph), David Ragan (95.569 mph) and Jamie McMurray (95.492 mph). Almirola will make his second Cup start of the year Sunday, and McMurray had to make the race on speed, having dropped out of the top 35 in owner points.

Kasey Kahne, Ken Schrader, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson will start from positions six through 10. Johnson has won the last three races at Martinsville, and Johnson and Gordon together have won eight of the last 10 (four each). Source: Gordon wins his seventh career pole at Martinsville

Kyle Petty barely missed the race when he and Dario Franchitti ran the same time and Dario is ahead of Kyle in owner’s points.

Denny Hamlin has been running great there as well, but has been coming up short behind Jimmie and Jeff at the finish line. “”I’m usually the guy that runs right behind them,” said Hamlin, who finished third behind the Hendrick teammates last spring. “I think we’re maybe more prepared for those guys this year. Typically, when we come here, we know we can run top-three, and those two cars are the ones you have to beat.”

I think it will be a great race, as the short tracks always make for some great racing. My predictions for the top five:

1. Jeff Gordon (of course)
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jimmie Johnson

Here is how they qualified:

1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 96.288 19.666 Leader
2 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 95.757 19.775 -0.109
3 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 95.733 19.780 -0.114
4 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 95.569 19.814 -0.148
5 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 95.492 19.830 -0.164
6 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 95.487 19.831 -0.165
7 49 Ken Schrader Toyota Microsoft Small Business 95.463 19.836 -0.170
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 95.347 19.860 -0.194
9 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 95.271 19.876 -0.210
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 95.213 19.888 -0.222
11 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 95.208 19.889 -0.223
12 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 95.208 19.889 -0.223
13 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 95.079 19.916 -0.250
14 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Yates Racing 95.060 19.920 -0.254
15 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 95.036 19.925 -0.259
16 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 95.032 19.926 -0.260
17 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie 94.951 19.943 -0.277
18 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 94.874 19.959 -0.293
19 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jackson Hewitt 94.870 19.960 -0.294
20 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 94.832 19.968 -0.302
21 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com 94.832 19.968 -0.302
22 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 94.770 19.981 -0.315
23 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 94.713 19.993 -0.327
24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 94.637 20.009 -0.343
25 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge McDonald’s 94.637 20.009 -0.343
26 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge Mobil 1 94.637 20.009 -0.343
27 99 Carl Edwards Ford Claritin 94.600 20.017 -0.351
28 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 94.595 20.018 -0.352
29 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red 94.595 20.018 -0.352
30 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 94.562 20.025 -0.359
31 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 94.543 20.029 -0.363
32 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 94.538 20.030 -0.364
33 01 Regan Smith* Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 94.486 20.041 -0.375
34 00 Michael McDowell Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 94.406 20.058 -0.392
35 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 94.369 20.066 -0.400
36 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 94.312 20.078 -0.412
37 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge Charter Comm. 94.298 20.081 -0.415
38 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 94.139 20.115 -0.449
39 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 93.966 20.152 -0.486
40 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 93.664 20.217 -0.551
41 7 Robby Gordon+ Dodge Charter Comm. 93.641 20.222 -0.556
42 1 Martin Truex Jr.+ Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 93.627 20.225 -0.559
43 40 Dario Franchitti* Dodge Kennametal 94.078 20.128 -0.462

Did Not Qualify
44 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 94.078 20.128 -0.462
45 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports 93.507 20.251 -0.585
46 08 Tony Raines Dodge rhino’s energy drink 93.460 20.261 -0.595
47 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 93.230 20.311 -0.645

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