DARLINGTON, S.C. - Clint Bowyer is not letting the Dale Earnhardt Jr./Richard Childress Racing rumors slow him down.
After answering numerous questions about Dale Jr's situation, Bowyer went out and captured his first career Bud Pole in qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.
The driver of the No. 07 Jack Daniels RCR Chevrolet secured a birth in the 2008 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona with a fast lap of 164.987 mph.
"I got in the Bud Shootout now I got to get into the All-Star race, maybe this will be the weekend that gets me in both of them," Bowyer said in hopes of winning Saturday night.
With the exception of the 2004 fall race when qualifying was rained out, Bowyer's pole put an end to Kasey Kahne's Darlington pole streak at three.
Bowyer finally was forced to address the possibility of having Earnhardt Jr. as a teammate.
"I'd say anybody would be lucky to have (Earnhardt) as a teammate," Bowyer said. "He brings so much to the table sponsor wise, fan wise and everything else, so I am sure where ever he lands it will be good for them and him both."
Two-time defending Darlington winner Greg Biffle qualified second with a lap of 164.876 mph.
"I tell you what, our Ford Fusion Ameriquest car is really, really solid," said Biffle. "We felt like we had the fastest car in race trim practice. We have another practice this evening, but I feel like we have one of the fastest cars here for tomorrow night's race."
Biffle's Roush Fenway Racing teammates Jamie McMurray and Carl Edwards make up the second row with Kahne rounding out the top five.
Kenny Wallace turned in an impressive run for the Furniture Row Racing Team taking the sixth spot. Denny Hamlin, Ken Schrader, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon completed the first ten qualifiers.
Michael Waltrip led the list of drivers missing Sunday's show, marking the tenth straight race he's failed to qualify. His teammate Dale Jarrett also was not fast enough along with Jeremy Mayfield, Ward Burton, Mike Bliss and Scott Riggs.
Saturday night's Dodge Avenger 500 will take the green flag at 7 p.m. (ET).
For more on the weekend's news visit RacingOne.com