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Loudon qualifying: Gordon will start in top 10

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 18, 2009) – Jeff Gordon earned his 17th top-10 start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season during Friday’s qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Gordon will start 10th in his No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Yellow Ribbon Chevrolet when the green flag drops on Sunday at Loudon. He enters the 300-lap event ranked sixth in the standings with his eyes set on a fifth Cup title.

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet, scored the 14th-place starting spot on Friday. Ranked as the current points leader, Martin is the oldest member of the 12-driver Chase field.

Jimmie Johnson, the three-time defending Cup champion, enters Sunday’s race ranked third in the standings. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will roll off the grid 16th when the green flag drops.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, will start the 317.4-mile event in 23rd.

Race coverage of Sunday’s 317.4-mile event starts at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday on ABC. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.

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