Those awaiting the return to reality of Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick Chevrolets saw the most amazing feat of all when he took the pole for the TranSouth 400 at Darlington, S.C., to lead a 1-2-3 sweep for his garage.
“This is unbelievable,” the 23-year-old Gordon said after a record-shattering lap of 170.833 mph.
It was Gordon’s third pole in five tries this year and fifth of his three-year career.
The sweep marked the first time three cars from the same garage have taken the top positions. Terry Labonte, whose qualifying speed at the alwaystroublesome Darlington International Speedway was 169.854, took second.
Britain’s Damon Hill earned the provisional pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, a season opener at Sao Paulo.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review’s sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.