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From The Marbles

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the pole for Sprint Cup Series race at Dover

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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(Getty Images)

Hello Junior Nation, your driver is starting first on Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the field to green at Dover ahead of Chase points leader Matt Kenseth, who has won the first two races of NASCAR's 10 race playoffs for the Sprint Cup.

A pole could seem like a great opportunity to gain ground on Kenseth, who's 62 points ahead of Junior, who is in 11th place. However, Kenseth is right behind him. Junior went out ahead of Kenseth and watched the driver of the No. 20 car come up six one-thousandths of a second short. Junior's lap was 161.849 MPH.

It's the 13th career pole for Junior and his second of the season. He previously won the pole at Kentucky earlier this year. At that race, Junior's race went south after he hit a wayward tire tread from Denny Hamlin's car.

Kyle Busch, second to Kenseth in the points starts 14th, while third place Jimmie Johnson starts 8th. Carl Edwards is 4th, Greg Biffle 19th, Kevin Harvick 12th, Kurt Busch 9th, Jeff Gordon 16th, Ryan Newman 3rd, Clint Bowyer 23rd, Joey Logano 11th and Kasey Kahne will start 20th.

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