Dales shine at Atlanta

In today's Bud Pole qualifying, Dale Earnhardt Jr qualified a career-best second for Sunday's Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Dales shine at Atlanta

He was topped by Dale Jarrett in the Ford Credit No. 88.

Jarrett will start on the pole for the second time in 2000, while Earnhardt Jr. makes his first Winston Cup front-row start.

Earnhardt Jr is the only Winston Cup driver to qualifying among the top ten in each of this season's four races, and he now possesses the best average starting position among all Winston Cup drivers (average start: 5).

In nine career Cup races, Earnhardt has started in the top 10 five times.

Earnhardt Jr said: "It was a pretty crazy lap - but hey that's Atlanta.

"We suspected the engine was down on power this morning, so my guys put a new engine before qualifying, and that seemed to make the difference.

"It's a boost to my team and my guys in the engine shop - we're [Dale Earnhardt Inc.] still a new company with a new engine shop, so it's great to be so far up front and to see my teammate in third.

"We did use a lot of information from (Steve) Park's team this morning. Some of the engineers that work with both cars shared a lot of information and we made some changes that helped my car.

"I could have been smoother on the lap - it was real loose. I didn't expect to see a lap that fast."

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