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Johnson, Gordon, Martin qualify in top 10 at Bristol

Johnson, Gordon, Martin qualify in top 10 at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Three Hendrick Motorsports drivers qualified in the top-10 during Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson recorded his best starting spot of the season on Friday, picking up the sixth spot. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet returns to Bristol as the defending champion of last year’s March race. He also has earned four top-five finishes and nine top-10s during his last 18 Cup starts at the speedway.

Jeff Gordon scored the seventh starting position on Friday in his No. 24 Pepsi MAX Chevrolet. Gordon has made 36 Cup appearances at Bristol and earned five trips to Victory Lane, 14 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s.

Mark Martin will start ninth on Sunday in his No. 5 Chevrolet. He has made 44 Cup starts at the 0.533-mile oval and owns two wins, 16 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s.   

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, will line up 22nd on Sunday. In his last 18 Cup events at the high-banked short track, Earnhardt has amassed one win, two pole positions, five top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has finished 11th or better 14 times and, during the last 12 races, has emerged as the best finisher among the field. In that span, he has established an 11.5 average finish at Bristol. 

Pre-race coverage of the Cup event begins Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX, and the race starts at 1 p.m.