NASCAR WCUP: Gordon Pockets Seventh Pole of the Year
28 August 1998
By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel
LOUDON, NH: Jeff Gordon captured his seventh pole of the season Friday by posting a top speed of 129.033 mph in the opening round of qualifying for the CMT 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race to be held Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway.
"That was the best lap we ran all day," Gordon said. "I kind of took it easy going into turn one, but I felt the tires coming in the middle of two, and was able to make up time in three and four.
Gordon continues to post strong qualifying and race performances. The result is the Winston Cup points lead. Gordon owns a 67 point advantage over Mark Martin for the 1998 Winston Cup Championship.
Jeff Burton was one of seven drivers to crash during the first round of qualifying. Burton said, "I didn't miss the groove. There was oil on the race track or something." He continued, "When you're going that fast, something's going to happen every now and then. It was like it blew both front tires and turned right, but I know I didn't blow both front tires."
"The brake marks start at the yellow line on the inside and just go straight, so I don't know."
Burton dominated the Jiffy Lube 300 at Loudon last month. He also won this race a year ago from the fifteenth starting position. Burton will start 25th Sunday in a backup car.
Ernie Irvan, Ron Fellows, Dale Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin also had wall banging incidents. Marlin was very critical of the new track "sealing". He said, "You can't race hard because you're going to wreck."
The new track surface also caused Bill Elliott and Dale Jarrett to spin. Neither driver made contact with the walls.
1. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 129.033 mph
2. Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 128.398
3. Ken Schrader, Chevrolet, 128.212
4. Kenny Wallace, Ford, 128.182
5. Mark Martin, Ford, 128.079
6. Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, 128.001
7. Dale Jarrett, Ford, 127.756
8. Rick Mast, Ford, 127.752
9. John Andretti, Pontiac, 127.645
10. Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, 127.580
11. Kenny Irwin, Ford, 127.491
12. Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 127.351
13. Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 127.100
14. Rusty Wallace, Ford, 127.091
15. Steve Grissom, Chevrolet, 127.083
16. Brett Bodine, Ford, 127.062
17. Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 127.038
18. Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 127.002
19. Ernie Irvan, Pontiac, 126.918
20. Ward Burton, Pontiac, 126.905
21. Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 126.871
22. Bill Elliott, Ford, 126.787
23. Kyle Petty, Pontiac, 126.732
24. Robert Pressley, Ford, 126.690
25. Jeff Burton, Ford, 126.677
Did not Qualify
26. Derrike Cope, Pontiac, 126.475
27. Chad Little, Ford, 126.391
28. Geoff Bodine, Ford, 126.232
29. Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 126.203
30. Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 126.007
31. Jerry Nadeau, Ford, 125.819
32. Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, 125.657
33. Kevin LePage, Ford, 125.603
34. Ricky Rudd, Ford, 125.479
35. Dick Trickle, Ford, 125.331
36. Steve Park, Chevrolet, 125.219
37. Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Chevrolet, 125.215
38. Dennis Setzer, Ford, 125.182
39. Johnny Benson, Ford, 125.117
40. Rich Bickle, Ford, 125.018
41. Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 124.654
42. Darrell Waltrip, Chevrolet, 124.511
43. Buckshot Jones, Chevrolet, 124.085
44. Ron Fellows, Chevrolet, 122.226
45. Michael Waltrip, Ford, 114.809
46. Don Pardus, Chevrolet, 114.070