Hendrick Motorsports

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Martin scores second pole, three Hendrick drivers to start in top 10 at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2009) – Mark Martin secured his second straight pole position and two of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates earned top-10 starting spots for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The green flag drops for the 500-lap, short-track event at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. Race coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

Martin, driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet, lapped the track at 125.773 mph in 15.256 seconds during Friday’s qualifying session to record his eighth overall pole at the short track—a personal record for Martin.

“It feels really, really good,” Martin said after his run. “That was a great day. The car was really fast. It was really comfortable, and with the things that have happened to us in the races, it feels really good to show everybody that we still have speed and we’re going to keep digging.”

This marks the second time that Martin has earned back-to-back poles during a season. Martin most recently claimed the front row spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 8. Before that, he earned back-to-back pole positions during the 1989 season, earning the top spot at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and Bristol.

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, will line up third for Sunday’s event, while Jeff Gordon will start 10th in his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, earned the 35th starting spot.