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Gordon leads Hendrick sweep at Talladega

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Posted: April 16, 2011 10:30 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2011 10:30 p.m.
Gordon leads Hendrick sweep at Talladega

Driver Jeff Gordon waves to fans during qualifying for today's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at the Talladega Superspeedway, Saturday in Talladega, Ala.


    TALLADEGA, Ala. — Jeff Gordon put himself in select company. So did Rick Hendrick.
    Too bad they didn't get there a little faster.
    Gordon won his 70th career pole Saturday and led a Hendrick Motorsports sweep of the top four spots at Talladega Superspeedway — only the third team in NASCAR history to monopolize the first two rows for a Cup race.
    Gordon turned a two-lap qualifying average of 178.248 mph for the Aaron's 499. He broke a tie for third place on the career list with Cale Yarborough and trails only Richard Petty (123) and David Pearson (113).
    As for Hendrick, he joined Pete DePaolo (Charlotte, 1956) and Jack Roush (California, 2005) as the only car owners to have the four fastest cars in qualifying for a top-division race. Jimmie Johnson claimed the outside of the front row with a speed of 177.844, with Mark Martin (177.807) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (177.765) taking the second row.
    But the four-time series champion wasn't all that thrilled about another landmark: the slowest speed ever to claim the pole at Talladega.

Nationwide: Busch wins a wild one
    Kyle Busch won under a yellow flag in a wild finish Saturday, taking the Nationwide race at Talladega Superspeedway when the last of 10 crashes sent Mike Wallace's car flipping upside down.
    Busch captured his fourth win in seven Nationwide races — and 47th of his career — on a day when tandem racing produced a series-record 56 lead changes, 11 cautions and two red flags to clean up debris.
    Even Busch got caught up in the mayhem. He spun out in the biggest crash of the day, a 21-car melee just 28 laps from the scheduled finish of the Aaron's 312.
    Busch drove his battered Toyota onto pit road and figured he was done for the day. Instead, his crew patched up the damage, yanked off the pieces they couldn't fix and sent him back onto the track without losing a lap.

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