Earnhardt Nabs Richmond Pole
RICHMOND, Va. – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will start the final race before The Chase from the pole after setting fast time in qualifying for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday afternoon at Richmond Int’l Raceway.
Earnhardt was one of the final cars to take time during qualifying, bumping Jeff Gordon from the pole with his 21.256-second lap around three-quarter-mile asphalt oval. It is his first pole of the season and the 11th of his career.
“It gives us a good feeling, gives us a lot of confidence going into the race,” Earnhardt said after winning the pole for Saturday’s race. “I love running at Richmond, but we just worked so hard to try improve on qualifying so this is a good deal for us.”
Gordon, who is one of eight drivers fighting for the two Wild Card spots in The Chase, will start second in his No. 24 Chevrolet. Regan Smith, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson completed the top five.
Joey Logano (eighth), Ryan Newman (14th), Kyle Busch (15th), Carl Edwards (16th), Kasey Kahne (21st), Marcos Ambrose (22nd) and Paul Menard (25th) are the other drivers vying for the two final Chase berths.
The go-or-go-homers that qualified for the race are Michael McDowell, David Stremme, Joe Nemechek, Stephen Leicht, Scott Riggs, Mike Bliss, Josh Wise and Reed Sorenson.
J.J. Yeley and Mark Green failed to qualify.