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JGR Qualifying Report - Pepsi 400

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Date: June 30, 2006
Event: Pepsi 400 Qualifying
Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Boris Said of No Fear Racing
JGR Lineup: Tony Stewart (2nd), Denny Hamlin (6th), J.J. Yeley (11th) Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified second for Saturday night's Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway to lead the three-car Joe Gibbs Racing contingent. Stewart turned a lap of 48.478 seconds at a speed of 185.651 mph on the 2.5-mile oval. "I'm really happy about The Home Depot team's effort today," said Stewart, defending winner of the Pepsi 400. "I didn't have anything to do with it. I just got to drive it around there. The crew guys get all the credit today. "The car is really fast right now. We'll try to do what we did last year." Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Home Delivery Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet - qualified sixth and 11th, respectively. Hamlin turned a lap of 48.528 seconds at 185.460 mph while Yeley timed in at 48.687 seconds with a speed of 184.854 mph. "I'm really happy with the time, but I can't believe the pick up we had between laps one and two," said Hamlin. "I wasn't too sure we would be able to post a lap that fast before we went out, but the car was really stable. It puts us in a great place to start the race, and with this car handling as good as it is in race trim, we should be competitive" "It drove well and it's the same car that we had here in February," said Yeley. "Qualifying is not worth a whole bunch here right now. We aren't putting as much emphasis in qualifying for this race, which you do in February. Hopefully we've got a car that qualifies well and races better." Boris Said captured his second career pole position with a time of 48.350 seconds at a speed of 186.143 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Stewart, David Stremme (48.497 seconds at 185.578 mph), Jeff Gordon (48.516 seconds at 185.506 mph) and Joe Nemechek (48.527 seconds at 185.464 mph). Forty-eight drivers attempted to qualify for the 160-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Scott Wimmer, Kevin Lepage, Kenny Wallace, Chad Blount and Kertus Davis. As far as manufacturers went, Ford took the top spot thanks to Said's pole-winning mark while Chevrolet was next best at the hands of Stewart. Carrying the flag for Dodge was third-quick Stremme. The Pepsi 400 gets underway on Sat., July 1 at 7:55 p.m. EDT. FOX will carry live coverage of the event.

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