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JGR Qualifying Report - Aaron's 499
Date: April 29, 2006 Event: Aaron's 499 Qualifying Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Location: Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval) Pole Winner: Elliott Sadler of Robert Yates Racing JGR Lineup: Tony Stewart (2nd ); J.J. Yeley (11th); Denny Hamlin (30th) Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified second for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway to lead the three-car contingent of Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart turned a lap of 51.029 seconds at a speed of 187.658 mph around the 2.66-mile oval. "Drivers don't do anything here," said Stewart. "All we do is make sure we shift three times at the right rpm and then just ride it around there. It's a testament to this Home Depot crew. They've done an awesome job getting ready for this race and hopefully tomorrow we'll be just as good. The car is good, obviously. I was surprised. I didn't think we were going to run that quick, especially with the way the wind was gusting. I was very, very happy with the way we ran." Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - J.J. Yeley in the #18 AsthmaControl.com Chevrolet and Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Freight Chevrolet and - qualified 11th and 30th, respectively. Yeley turned a lap of 51.256 seconds at 186.827 mph while Hamlin timed in at 51.638 seconds with a speed of 185.445 mph. "It was definitely a good lap," said Yeley, who scored his second career NASCAR Busch Series pole on Friday in the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet. "The wind seemed like it picked up a little bit as we were making our run. That might've hurt us a little bit, but we were flying blind in qualifying today. We didn't make any qualifying runs yesterday with the Cup car. Racing is more important to us than what qualifying was." "Our car seemed to be good in race trim, so I guess it will be all right," said Hamlin. "It seemed to be all right in drafting practice. I just don't understand why this car is so slow by itself. Hopefully, we'll make up for it on Sunday." Elliott Sadler captured his seventh career pole position and his second straight at Talladega with a time of 50.798 seconds at a speed of 188.511 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Stewart, Carl Edwards (51.121 seconds at 187.320 mph), Dale Jarrett (51.145 seconds at 187.232 mph) and Kurt Busch (51.171 seconds at 187.137 mph). Forty-nine drivers attempted to qualify for the 188-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Morgan Shepherd, Stanton Barrett, Mike Wallace, Chad Blount, Brent Sherman and Kenny Wallace. As far as manufacturers went, Ford took the top spot thanks to Sadler's pole-winning mark while Chevrolet was next best at the hands of Stewart. Carrying the flag for Dodge was fifth-quick Busch. The Aaron's 499 gets underway on Sun., April 30 at 2:10 p.m. EDT. FOX will carry live coverage of the event.