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Richmond qualifying: Johnson and Gordon in top five

RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2010)—Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon earned spots in the top five during Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Richmond International Raceway, while their Hendrick Motorsports teammates Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top 25.

Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet, will roll off the grid third.

“I’m really pleased with that qualifying effort. We struggled in practice,” Johnson said. “We got up on the wheel and really hustled the car around the track. And then also at the end of practice we found a couple of things that gave us a little bit of hope, and we went further in those directions and it definitely gave the car some more grip. So I’m really pleased with the qualifying effort. Pit road pick is important. Track position is going to be tough here. I just don’t know how; there is so little grip and the cars are moving around so much I don’t know how you’re going to finish a pass. It’s going to be really tough.”

Gordon qualified fourth and will line up in his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet for Saturday’s 400-lap event.

“The car was really good, and I got in the corners deep,” Gordon said. “The No. 48 didn’t have a great day but he qualified really well. Same ole thing for them. You know they are going to be tough all night so we’ll have a lot of fun out there racing with them like we have been. Hopefully it will be us battling for the win. I don’t think anybody would like to see that more than us.”

Martin will start 14th in his No. 5 Hendrickcars.com/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, while Earnhardt will start 25th in his National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet.

The 400-lap race is scheduled to start Saturday at 7:30 p.m ET with live coverage provided by FOX.

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