Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole starting spot on Friday for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway with a lap time of 21.256 seconds. It’s his first pole of the season and first ever at Richmond.
“The car drove really good in that qualifying run,” Earnhardt said. “We’ve been working over the last two years to improve.”
Jeff Gordon qualified second with a 21.263-second lap to claim the second starting spot and give Hendrick Motorsports both front-row starting positions.
“I think this is a big mission accomplishment for us,” Gordon who will be racing for the final wild card spot to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “We were very solid in practice all day.”
Chevrolet claimed the top-three spots in qualifying with Regan Smith turning a 21.275-second lap to claim third. He’ll be joined on the second row Saturday night by Clint Bowyer.
Jimmie Johnson was fifth in qualifying, and Mark Martin was sixth to claim third row starting spots.
Forty-five drivers made qualifying attempts. J.J. Yeley and Mark Green were the two drivers who failed to earn spots on the 43-car starting grid.
– Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook.
– Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner