Texas storms cancel qualifying, Jeff Gordon on pole

Severe weather, including baseball-sized hail and tornado warnings for Fort Worth and Tarrant County, canceled NASCAR Nextel Cup Series qualifying Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. As warning sirens blared, fans scurried out of the grandstands and...

Severe weather, including baseball-sized hail and tornado warnings for Fort Worth and Tarrant County, canceled NASCAR Nextel Cup Series qualifying Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

As warning sirens blared, fans scurried out of the grandstands and into any available shelter, including the brick-walled bathrooms under the seating areas. There was considerable concern about the many fans here who are in vulnerable motor homes in the infield and out in the parking lots.

Without qualifying runs, the field is now set for Sunday's Samsung 500 by current owner's points. That leaves Jeff Gordon on the pole, with Jeff Burton second and Jimmie Johnson in third.

DNQs include rookies AJ Allmendinger and David Reutimann plus Michael Waltrip, who had hoped to redeem his Toyota team after previous qualifying struggles and his own personal problems after he crashed his SUV last Saturday.

Earlier they did squeeze in the practice, a bit delayed due to rain showers. When it let up, the track ran the jet-blowers to dry out the 1.5-mile oval and pit road allowing the teams to get their drivers out to get some laps in.

The top-five were David Stremme with a time of 28.401 seconds in his Dodge followed by rookie David Reutimann who ran a 28.461 in his Toyota. Third was another rookie Paul Menard who was clocked in his Chevrolet at 28.733 with the Monte Carlo of Martin Truex, Jr. at 28.738. Ford racer Greg Biffle was fifth at 28.751.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , David Stremme