Gordon Gets the Pole But Martin Brings a Strong Challenge at Dover

Erin ConnollyCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2008

Could Dover be Jeff Gordon’s come back?


Gordon set the pole however we have seen him bring a fast car to the track only to watch it dead one pit stop at a time. Although, I am sure he won’t appreciate my comparison, I can’t help but see Jeff Gordon's season as a clap for TinkerBell moment.


If we all just believe he may pull off a win, but at this point is there anyone out there still clapping?


However, Gordon’s Hendrick teammate didn’t even come close to him at qualifying. Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified tenth, (-0.230) off Gordon. Yet, with the big man Hendrick himself in Earnhardt Jr.'s pit box, it will be interesting to see what Dale can do at Dover. Perhaps the Hendrick’s story out of qualifying though, is Jimmy Johnson placing twentieth (-0.306) off Gordon. What is going on with Johnson’s ride?


Mark Martin brought another Chevrolet to the top of qualifying. Martin was only (-0.001) off Gordon. Martin has an average finish of 12.6 at Dover and has won there four times. Like Gordon, Martin also has no wins this year.  Two men with really fast cars, one in the Chase, one not both needing a victory for pride, this could get ugly.


When the rest of racing was looking at Kyle and Tony, Denny Hamlin became the consistent, on point driver for Gibbs racing.  He posted third in qualifying (-0.080) off Gordon. Plus, Hamlin has done well maintaining track position if his team is able to find away to give him a little more power Hamlin could be a proper threat to Gordon and Martin.


But where were his teammates? Kyle Busch placed eleventh (-0.230) off the leader. Was the No. 18 team able to fix the disaster they put on the track last week? For Kyle, I hope his team pulls it together and I don’t just mean the car.  


Unlike Kyle where last weekends problems resonated from the crew, it was all Tony Steward’s fault for the No. 20 team. Is a lack of crew/driver harmony showing through in qualifying with Tony posting 33? Tony was (-0.489) off Gordon.


This Chase has already seen emotions hit the stratosphere; I think Dover will be not exception.  These high emotions come out of the fact that the Chase is still young and divers haven’t left everything they have on the track yet. They will give a little more to Dover and when the dust settles we will see who gained or lost a little pride.