MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Todd Bodine, proving again to be an impressive qualifier, turned a fast lap at 93.724 mph Friday in his Ford to win the pole for the Old Dominion 500.
It is Bodine's third pole of the season, the third-best total in the Winston Cup series, and his first in eight career tries at Martinsville Speedway -- the circuit's oldest and shortest track.
"The car did everything it was supposed to do," Bodine said after earning his second consecutive front-row spot.
Last Sunday, Bodine started outside teammate Jimmy Spencer at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
For Bodine, the pole is special because he spent a lot of time here growing up watching brothers Geoffrey and Brett do well. Geoffrey Bodine has won four Winston Cup races, two Busch races and seven Modified races in Martinsville. Brett has two Modified and two Busch series wins.
"I've been coming here probably since I was about 6 or 7 years old, every spring and every fall, watching my brothers race, watching my brothers sit on poles, watching them win races," Todd Bodine said.
Despite his qualifying prowess, Bodine is struggling to get his racing program in order. He's 32nd in the standings with just two top-five finishes.
"It's very big just to sit on the pole here for us," he said. "To get our first victory here on Sunday would be absolutely incredible,"
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified right after Bodine, will start on the outside of the front row in his Chevrolet after a run at 93.617.
Both moved Jeff Gordon's Chevrolet to the second row.
"I don't know how we did it," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We weren't that good in practice. We must have hit all the marks just right."
Gordon, the seventh driver on the track, put a lap up at 93.488 that endured through the next 25 drivers, many seeming tentative after a spitting rain and overcast skies cooled the racing surface.
"It just seems like the track temperature right now, you can't get after it," the series points leader said. "If you drive in too hard, you're going to get yourself in trouble."
Gordon will start inside Dale Jarrett, the winner here in April, who turned a lap at 93.322 in his Ford as the last of the 46 drivers to make a run.
"I don't know what's going on here," said Jarrett, who won here for the first time in 30 tries in April. "I don't know what's happening. I'm going to fall in love with this place if I'm not careful."
The rest of the top 10 has Johnny Benson and Ricky Craven in the third row, Joe Nemechek and defending race champion and polesitter Tony Stewart in the fourth, and Rusty Wallace and Dave Blaney in the fifth.
Ricky Rudd, 237 points behind Gordon in the standings, will start 19th in Sunday's 500-lap event around the .526-mile oval.
Qualifying was held under cloudy skies after about an hour of spotty, spitting rain that was more an annoyance than a threat to the session.
"It didn't even get the surface wet," said Ken Schrader, who qualified early and will start 20th. "I don't think it made much difference."
The track did, however, prove challenging to some drivers. Spencer was the slowest, twice wiggling through turn four. Stewart also got loose there, prompting a brief delay in the qualifying runs.
Stewart's car had been the fastest in practice, and after watching Spencer have trouble, Stewart's crew asked NASCAR to check the track.
They did, but only after Stewart also made his run.
"The race track was a whole lot better 10 minutes later," said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief. "I'm sure it cost us something."
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