Fort Worth (105.3 The Fan) Elliott Sadler earned his first Sprint Cup Series pole in more than four years after winning Friday’s qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Sadler, a non-Chase contender, lapped the fast 1.5-mile Texas oval at 195.397 m.p.h. for his eighth career Cup pole, but his first since May 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Earlier in the day, Kevin Harvick Inc. announced that Sadler had signed a multi-year agreement to drive a second full-time entry for the racing organization in the Nationwide Series, beginning in 2011.
“I feel like Superman, and today has been an amazing day to be Elliott Sadler, with all the announcements this morning,” Sadler said. “You never know when you’re going to get another pole, so it’s pretty cool to get a pole here. I’m very happy for my guys. They did a lot of work to get this car on the pole, so it’s a great day for us.”
One of Sadler’s three career Cup victories came at Texas in April 2004.
Sadler’s qualifying speed was nearly two miles-per-hour faster than his closest competitor, Greg Biffle, who grabbed the outside pole with a lap of 193.653 m.p.h.
Carl Edwards was third quickest, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and David Ragan.
Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, who won last weekend at Talladega, Regan Smith, Mark Martin and A.J. Allmendinger completed the top-10.
Points leader Jimmie Johnson will start 17th. Just 38 points separate leader Johnson from third-place Kevin Harvick, making it the closest margin among the top-three drivers with three races to go in the Chase since NASCAR began its playoff format for its top-tier series in 2004. Denny Hamlin is 14 points in back of Johnson.
Harvick qualified 26th, while Hamlin placed 30th, which is the furthest starting position among the 12 Chase drivers.
J.J. Yeley, Scott Riggs, Michael McDowell, Jeff Green, Josh Wise and Brian Keselowski failed to qualify.
Sunday’s 500-mile race at Texas is scheduled to start shortly after 3:00 p.m. (et).