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Vickers Nabs Outside Pole at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 31, 2003) – Hendrick Motorsports dominated the top five qualifying positions at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, putting three teams in the first two rows for Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500.

In just his third Winston Cup attempt, Brian Vickers nearly nabbed his first career NASCAR Winston Cup Series pole position, posting the second-quickest lap in time trials. The 20-year-old toured the one-mile oval at 133.640 mph in his No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet.

The youngster was followed by teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, who will start third and fourth, respectively.

Johnson’s performance marked his eighth top-10 qualifying effort in the last 10 races behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe’s Monte Carlo. He has six top-three starts in 2003.

A four-time Winston Cup champion, Gordon has posted victories in his last two events and finished no worse that fifth in the last six races. His No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo has started outside the top 10 just once during that span.

Driving the No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Chevy, Terry Labonte will start on the inside of Row 10 on Sunday. The two-time champion has now improved his qualifying position in 24 events compared to last season.

Ryan Newman earned his 10th pole position of 2003 on Friday, speeding to a lap of 133.675 mph.

Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 will be broadcast live from Phoenix International Raceway beginning at 3 p.m. ET on TNT and MRN Radio.

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