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Johnson, Gordon Nab Top-10 Starts at Texas

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 2, 2004) – Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon led Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series time trials at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, earning top-10 qualifying spots for Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500.

Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, will start eighth thanks to a 192.905-mph lap.  He posted the third-best time in pre-qualifying practice earlier in the day.

Clocked at 192.561 mph (28.043 seconds) in the No. 24 DuPont Chevy, Gordon will take the green flag from the ninth position on Sunday.  The four-time Cup Series champion will start to the inside of Rusty Wallace on Row 5.

Brian Vickers and GMAC Racing qualified 13th overall, followed by Terry Labonte, who will start 30th in the No. 5 Kellogg’s/Delphi Monte Carlo.

Driving the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevrolet, 18-year-old Kyle Busch did not qualify for Sunday’s event after posting the 40th-best time in the session.

The No. 84 Chevy made contact with the retaining wall toward the end of pre-qualifying practice, forcing the team to use a backup car in time trials.  The car had never taken a lap at Texas before making its qualifying attempt.

Busch will start from the pole position in Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Texas.

Bobby Labonte, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, earned the NEXTEL Cup pole with a lap of 193.903 mph (27.849 seconds).

Broadcast live on FOX and PRN, Sunday’s event is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET green flag.

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