Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson swept the first three spots in qualifying for the Michigan 400 this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Gordon. Photo by Eric Gilbert. Gordon,...
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson swept the first three spots in qualifying for the Michigan 400 this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
Gordon also had the fastest car during Friday's practice session. He ran just seven laps, but topped out at 190.885 mph. Johnson (third) and Vickers (ninth) were also among the fastest cars during practice.
"The car was just great right off the truck," Gordon said. "I'm really proud of the way these teams have worked together. When we put the #48 team in the #24 shop, the communication level went to new heights. We have the best group of people that I've ever seen."
Johnson held the second spot through most of the afternoon until Vickers, who was the 43rd car out, edged him by 5/1000ths of a second.
"I wanted that pole pretty bad, but it is a great starting spot for this GMAC Chevy here at Michigan," said Vickers, who finished 19th in the Busch Series race last August in his only start at MIS. "Hopefully it'll end with a one-two-three for Hendrick Motorsports."
Ryan Newman, who won at MIS last August, will start fourth and Robby Gordon rounds out the top-5. Points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 11th.
Dave Blaney, who will make his second start in the Richard Childress #30 Chevy, crashed during his first qualifying lap. He got loose in turn 2 and spun around, crashing heavily into the new SAFER barrier in turn 2.
"I just got loose trying to get too much out of the car," said Blaney, who was 23rd fastest in practice earlier in the day. "We've been on the loose side all day and I was just too greedy with it trying to run too fast."
Blaney, Geoffrey Bodine, Morgan Shepherd, Kirk Shelmerdine and Derricke Cope used provisionals to make the field for Sunday while Kerry Earnhardt and Carl Long failed to qualify.