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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Jeff Gordon Grabs 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 Pole at Phoenix

Jeff Gordon followed up his field-leading Cup practice session on Friday by winning the pole for Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500.

Gordon posted a qualifying lap of 26.773 seconds at a speed of 134.464 mph.

Also in the top five were Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joe Nemechek. The top-five qualifiers were all in Chevrolets.

“It’s been a spectacular week,” said Gordon, who was married in a private ceremony earlier in the week to model Ingrid Vandebosch. “The guys brought a great racecar and it’s been good all day.”

Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are the only other Chase competitors starting Sunday’s race in the top 10. Kenseth, with a late draw, qualified 10th to put himself in strong position for Sunday’s event. Jimmie Johnson, who currently leads Kenseth in the standings by 17 points, went out first in qualifying and wound up a disappointing 29th.


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