Gordon grabs 50th career pole

Gordon grabs 50th career pole

Hendrick horsepower conquered the DEI powerplants, earning Jeff Gordon the pole for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This is Gordon's 50th career pole, and fourth this season. Jeff Gordon. Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom. "I...

Hendrick horsepower conquered the DEI powerplants, earning Jeff Gordon the pole for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This is Gordon's 50th career pole, and fourth this season.

Jeff Gordon.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
"I think it says a lot," said Gordon of the No. 24 Chevy. "If you look at our other poles on the year, they were on short tracks. We really have our cars handling well and we have tremendous power under the hood."

Gordon's lap of 188.659 mph just beat Michael Waltrip's lap of 188.620 mph, dropping Waltrip into the outside pole position.

"Plate races anybody can get it done," Gordon continued. "In February we were embarrassed. The 8 and the 15 could do anything they wanted to. We don't take to that very kindly. I think we've caught up, but I don't think we are there all the way. Talladega is a very different race track than Daytona. You have to run wide open and just not have the power and the speed."

"I would love to have a showdown with Jr. and the DEI cars."

This is Gordon's third consecutive pole this year, and shows a rally by the No. 24 Chevy team as they charge for their fifth championship.

"You always want momentum on your side," Gordon explained. "If we are going to be battling for the championship we can't have bad races."

Ford made their mark on the 2.5-mile super-speedway this weekend, with Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett grabbing third and fourth.

"I am really pleased," said Rudd. "This is the car that qualified on the pole at Talladega. I am real happy with it."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. completes the top five.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson had a disappointing run, considering teammate Gordon landed the pole, as Johnson's No. 48 Chevy was only 20th quickest.

Forty-nine cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field, failing to make the show were Chad Blount, Tony Raines, Derrike Cope, Eric McClure, Kenny Wallace and Morgan Shepard.

The No. 38 Yates Ford of Elliott Sadler failed post race inspection for having both rear quarter panels too low. His 9th place time was disallowed; he will take the green flag from the 39th spot.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Derrike Cope , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Michael Waltrip , Kenny Wallace , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson , Chad Blount , Eric McClure , Elliott Sadler