Qualifying: Gordon storms to pole

Jeff Gordon claimed his third career pole position at the bruising Bristol Motor Speedway half-mile oval, but only after waiting for over an hour because of a heavy thunderstorm

Qualifying: Gordon storms to pole

The four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion was one of 27 runners to complete his qualifying run before the rain started falling. After waiting for the rain to subside, Gordon was forced to watch as Mark Martin came agonisingly close to stealing pole. The Roush Racing driver, who hasn't started from the front since May 2001, set a best time of 15.039s, a meagre 0.001s slower than Gordon.

Michael Waltrip qualified third, ahead of Mike Skinner. Kurt Busch, on probation following his run-in with Jimmy Spencer after the recent race at Michigan, qualified fifth. Intriguingly Ted Musgrave, standing in for the suspended Spencer at Ultra Motorsports, will start seventh - directly behind the Roush Racing star on the grid.

Michigan winner Ryan Newman split Busch and Musgrave with the sixth fastest time. Ricky Rudd starts eighth, ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr and championship leader Matt Kenseth.

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