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Virginia 500 - Martinsville Speedway

Practice makes perfect. Just ask Jeff Gordon. Gordon, who tested recently at Martinsville, grabbed his series leading third pole of the season. The three-time Winston Cup champion also has three wins at the tight, narrow, flat track. Jeff rounded the .526 mile speedway in 20.126 seconds (94.087 mph), just besting Rusty Wallace for the top spot.

"I've only won one pole here, it's a very difficult place to win poles at," Gordon said. "In my opinion it's the most important place to win poles. There's nothing like having the number one pit stall at Martinsville."

A testing session two weeks ago definitely helped the team. They knew they had a good setup, and Jeff Gordon was able to capitalize on it.

Gordon has 3 wins at Martinsville

"I knew we had a good car, but I didn't know it'd feel that good. It stuck good, turned real good. I don't know if I could do too much more. I thought it was good enough for the pole, but here you never know."

"All day in practice I had trouble getting into the corner. The tires wanted to lock up. I made sure I didn't overdrive it second lap, that's the one I was really going for. I still over drove it a little bit, but it didn't really affect my speed."

Rusty Wallace, who won nine poles in 2000, will start on the outside of the front row. Jeff Burton, an expected title contender who hasn't cracked the top thirty in points, will start third. Ricky Rudd and Robert Pressley round out the top five.

After fading late in the race, with a setup that didn't perform well under changing track conditions, Jeff Gordon finished 12th in the Virginia 500. Dale Jarrett passed teammate Ricky Rudd to win his 3rd race of the season and lengthen his points lead to 123 points over Gordon.


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