FOX Sports Exclusive
Sharpie 500 Qualifying
BRISTOL, Tenn.Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, qualified 17th for Saturday night's Sharpie 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"It was just a little bit tight getting back to the gas, but that's something we can cure pretty easily," said Stewart, who toured the .533-mile oval in 15.225 seconds with an average speed of 126.030 mph in his backup race car after crashing his primary car in practice. "The guys worked really hard to get the backup ready. I'm proud of them. Even though we have to start at the back, we've got a pretty good piece."
Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte - qualified 39th and 42nd, respectively. Terry clocked a time of 15.481 seconds with an average speed of 123.945 mph, while Bobby qualified via his standing in car owner points.
Matt Kenseth captured his second career pole position and his first of the year with a time of 15.073 seconds at an average speed of 127.300 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Jeff Gordon (15.085 seconds at 127.199 mph), Dave Blaney (15.090 seconds at 127.157 mph), Greg Biffle (15.107 seconds at 127.014 mph) and Ricky Rudd (15.111 seconds at 126.980 mph).
Forty-nine drivers attempted to qualify for the 500-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Wayne Anderson, Mike Garvey, Johnny Sauter, Morgan Shepherd, P.J. Jones and Tony Raines.
As far as manufacturers went, Ford took the top spot via Kenseth's pole-winning mark while Chevrolet was next best at the hands of Gordon. Carrying the flag for Dodge was sixth-quick Ryan Newman (15.114 seconds at 126.955 mph).
The Sharpie 500 gets underway on Sat., April 27 at 7:40 p.m. EDT. TNT will carry live coverage of the event.