JGR Qualifying Report - Subway Fresh 500k

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Date: April 20, 2006
Event: Subway Fresh 500k Qualifying
Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Kyle Busch of Hendrick Motorsports
JGR Lineup: Tony Stewart (3rd); Denny Hamlin (6th); J.J. Yeley (30th) Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified third for Saturday night's Subway Fresh 500k NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway to lead the three-car contingent of Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart turned a lap of 27.007 seconds at a speed of 133.299 mph around the 1-mile oval. "I left a little bit in (Turns) 3 and 4 on both laps," said Stewart. "But this is a momentum track - a timing track. I was just a little bit slow in 3 and 4. It wasn't the car. I just didn't get in and let it roll through far enough. So, it's not bad. We've got a good car and it felt really good in race trim today." Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet - qualified sixth and 30th, respectively. Hamlin turned a lap of 27.099 seconds at 132.846 mph while Yeley timed in at 27.514 seconds with a speed of 130.842. "It definitely had a lot of room for improvement," said Hamlin. "We fought loose all day and just over-adjusted on it, but it's still a great lap for us. We weren't very good in practice so we'll definitely take where we're at. We'll take this FedEx Chevrolet and put it in race trim and know we'll be good." "The car was just too loose and that ruined our lap," said Yeley. Kyle Busch captured his second career pole position with a time of 26.917 seconds at a speed of 133.744 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Greg Biffle (26.990 seconds at 133.383 mph), Stewart, Matt Kenseth (27.026 seconds at 133.205 mph) and Carl Edwards (27.062 seconds at 133.028 mph). Forty-nine drivers attempted to qualify for the 312-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Chad Chaffin, Mike Garvey, Chad Blount, Kevin Lepage, Morgan Shepherd and Steve Portenga. As far as manufacturers went, Chevrolet took the top spot via Busch's pole-winning mark while Ford was next best at the hands of Biffle. Carrying the flag for Dodge was seventh-quick Kurt Busch (27.105 seconds at 132.817 mph), Kyle's older brother. The Subway Fresh 500k gets underway on Sat., April 22 at 8:25 p.m. EDT. FOX will carry live coverage of the event.

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