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Darlington qualifying: Gordon and Martin in top five

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 8, 2010) – Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin earned starting spots in the top five for Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson round out the top 22.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet, scored the outside pole position – his second of the season and seventh overall at the “Lady in Black.” Twice, Gordon has gone to Victory Lane (both times in 1996), when he started from the No. 2 spot.

“I’m really excited,” Gordon said. “This team is on a roll. They are putting awesome race cars out on the track for me every weekend and making it a joy. And I’m looking forward to going to every race, you know and every track. That was the case today. Gordon said

Martin will roll off the grid fifth in his No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. Martin, the defending race winner, has started 10th or better in six of the 11 races so far this season.

Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, will line up 19th for Saturday’s night race, while Johnson will start 22nd in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet.

The race will be televised Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

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