Gordon grabs Atlanta pole

Jeff Gordon may not have had a good year in the win department, but Hendrick Motorsports scored a 1-2 punch during Bud Pole qualifying for the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Gordon grabs Atlanta pole

Gordon was the seventh of 55 cars attempting to make the top-25 on Friday and his lap of the 1.54-mile, 24-degree banked speedway in 28.537s (194.274mph) held throughout the afternoon. "That was good. We'll take that," he said.

Hendrick team-mate Jerry Nadeau was second-fastest with a lap in 28.681s (193.299mph). Dale Jarrett, Dave Blaney and Todd Bodine round out the top-five, with Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte and Wally Dallenbach in sixth through tenth.

Earnhardt and Jeff Burton are separated by just 19 points for the runner-up spot in the points standings. Burton will have to requalify on Saturday to attempt a better time then the 41st spot he managed today. Ricky Rudd, meanwhile, crashed on his qualifying lap in Turn One and was unable to finish it.

Three American Speed Association drivers who are looking to the NASCAR Busch Series were at Atlanta to attempt the Georgia Boot 300 ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde event. When qualifying was rained out, Larry Foyt, Scott Wimmer and Tim Sauter quickly joined the NASCAR Winston Cup Series qualifying list. Wimmer managed to grab 35th, Sauter took 48th and Foyt is listed 54th.

Darrell Waltrip took his last qualifying tour and while his time was only fast enough for 49th, he received cheers and applause from the fans. Waltrip will hang up his helmet after Sunday and trade it for a microphone on FOX television next season.

Michael Waltrip managed to stay in the 25th spot and will not have to make another qualifying run on Saturday during Bud Second Round Fastest qualifying.

1 24 Jeff Gordon Chev 28.537 194.274
2 25 Jerry Nadeau Chev 28.681 193.299
3 88 Dale Jarrett Ford 28.702 193.157
4 93 Dave Blaney Pont 28.792 192.553
5 46 Todd Bodine Ford 28.837 192.253
6 6 Mark Martin Ford 28.864 192.073
7 12 Jeremy Mayfield Ford 28.877 191.987
8 3 Dale Earnhardt Chev 28.965 191.403
9 18 Bobby Labonte Pont 28.984 191.278
10 75 Wally Dallenbach Ford 29.009 191.113
11 14 Rick Mast Pont 29.011 191.100
12 36 Ken Schrader Pont 29.042 190.896
13 22 Ward Burton Pont 29.042 190.896
14 5 Terry Labonte Chev 29.049 190.850
15 33 Joe Nemechek Chev 29.072 190.699
16 23 Jimmy Spencer Ford 29.075 190.679
17 20 Tony Stewart Pont 29.094 190.555
18 1 Steve Park Pont 29.106 190.476
ROW 10
19 40 Sterling Marlin Chev 29.109 190.457
20 2 Rusty Wallace Ford 29.114 190.424
ROW 11
21 10 Johnny Benson Pont 29.135 190.287
22 11 Brett Bodine Ford 29.135 190.287
ROW 12
23 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 29.140 190.254
24 97 Kurt Busch Ford 29.180 189.993
ROW 13
25 7 Michael Waltrip Chev 29.188 189.941
26 94 Bill Elliott Ford 28.811 192.427
ROW 14
27 4 Bobby Hamilton Chev 28.824 192.340
28 01 Bobby Hamilton Jr Chev 28.827 192.320
ROW 15
29 00 Buckshot Jones Pont 28.830 192.300
30 32 Scott Pruett Ford 29.003 191.153
ROW 16
31 23 Scott Wimmer Pont 29.074 190.686
32 50 Ricky Craven Chev 29.089 190.588
ROW 17
33 13 Robby Gordon Ford 29.099 190.522
34 21 Elliott Sadler Ford 29.137 190.274
ROW 18
35 55 Kenny Wallace Chev 29.164 190.097
36 35 Geoffrey Bodine Chev 29.192 189.915
ROW 19
37 99 Jeff Burton Ford Provisional
38 28 Ricky Rudd Ford Provisional
ROW 20
39 31 Mike Skinner Chev Provisional
40 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chev Provisional
ROW 21
41 43 John Andretti Pont Provisional
42 77 Robert Pressley Ford Provisional
ROW 22
43 66 Darrell Waltrip Ford Provisional

Earnhardt salutes retiring Waltrip

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Rain stops play at Atlanta finale

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