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Johnson Grabs Outside Pole at New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. (July 23, 2004) – Jimmie Johnson posted the second-best qualifying lap Friday in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series time trials at New Hampshire International Speedway with a speed of 131.984 mph (28.858 seconds) in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet.

He was followed by teammates Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers and Jeff Gordon, who qualified 11th, 23rd and 24th respectively.

Driving the No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevy, Labonte was clocked at 130.945 mph to earn his second-best start of 2004.  The two-time champion lined up 10th at Daytona Beach, Fla., two races ago.

Vickers, a Raybestos Rookie, was clocked at 129.993 mph in the No. 25 GMAC Financial Services Chevy, while Gordon’s best lap was 129.860 mph in the No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo.

Driving a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry, Kyle Busch did not qualify after making contact with the NHIS retaining wall during his attempt in the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevrolet.  He was uninjured.

In NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, Busch posted the 10th-best lap around the New England oval at 128.737 mph.  The 19-year-old was the session’s top rookie.

Ryan Newman grabbed the NEXTEL Cup pole with a lap of 132.360 mph (28.776 seconds), while Jamie McMurray will start first in Saturday’s Busch Series event after his run of 130.007 mph (29.297 seconds).

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