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Easy as 1-2-3: Hendrick trio out front at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 7, 2007) - On the heels of announcing an extension with manufacturer Chevrolet for 2008 and beyond, Hendrick Motorsports drivers swept the top-three qualifying positions for Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Impala SS, circled the .75-mile track with a time of 21.378 seconds and a speed of 126.298 mph to score his second pole position of the season and 10th of his career.

Starting second and third behind Johnson are teammates Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Impala SS and Kyle Busch in the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Impala SS.  Casey Mears will line up 23rd in his No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Impala SS.

“I’m excited,” Johnson said. “I figured out how to drive this track when we were here in the spring and was able to win the race. So I think we’ve expanded on that. We’ve improved the car some and we felt like today we would be in the top five for qualifying.

“I’ve been slow with qualifying this year. We’ve had a couple of second-place qualifying efforts where we’ve missed it by a thousandth (of a second), but in general it’s not our strong suit. We felt like we had a good car and I just got really aggressive in there driving in and the car stuck and did all the things I needed it to do.”

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