published Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Gordon leads Hendrick sweep at Talladega

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.

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