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Top-10 Start for Gordon at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 19, 2004) – Jeff Gordon picked up his third top-10 start of the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season on Friday, earning the ninth position in time trials at Darlington Raceway.

Driving the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, Gordon will start to the inside of Row 5 after being clocked at 170.083 mph (28.913 seconds).  He also has started in the top 10 at North Carolina Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway this season.

The four-time Cup Series champion was closely followed by teammate Jimmie Johnson, who qualified 11th in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet.

Terry Labonte will start 26th in the No. 5 Kellogg’s Monte Carlo, followed by 28th-place Brian Vickers in the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevy.

Sunday will mark Vickers’ first-ever start at Darlington in NEXTEL Cup competition.

Kasey Kahne won his second pole award of the season with a lap of 171.716 mph (28.638 seconds).

Sunday’s 400-mile event at Darlington will be broadcast live on FOX (1 p.m. ET) and MRN Radio (12:30 p.m. ET).

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