Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart have tempered the anger that followed a crash the last time they raced.

Although they haven't spoken, Gordon said yesterday that the superstar NASCAR drivers have exchanged phone messages.

"He said that he was sorry about what happened and he wanted to talk to me," Gordon said. "I said, 'I got your message. Don't worry about it. I'm moving on. Let's go racing.' "

There has been no face-to-face discussion at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. -- where their haulers are parked less than four feet apart. They will race there today in the Pocono 500.

A week ago at Dover International Speedway, Stewart spun out a slower Gordon early in the race. Gordon said it was unnecessary and that he would have moved over. Stewart said Gordon didn't allow him the courtesy to go by despite knowing he had the faster car.

Stewart left the track immediately after qualifying 26th yesterday, and his spokesman said he would have no additional comments.

Gordon has fallen to 11th in the Nextel Cup standings. The four-time NASCAR champion has crashed out of three straight races and smacked the wall while qualifying 31st yesterday.

Michael Waltrip ended a qualifying drought of 446 races by putting his Chevrolet in the top spot yesterday. Waltrip got around the 21/2-mile triangular-shaped oval at 169.052 mph for his first pole since Michigan in 1991.

He edged defending Nextel Cup series champion Kurt Busch, who will start on the outside of the front row today. It was the third career pole for two-time Daytona 500 champion Waltrip, a regular in the series since 1985.

"I remember that pole at Michigan and Dover [a month earlier], and I didn't dream that I'd be an old man when I won my next one," Waltrip said.

Brian Vickers qualified third, followed by Jamie McMurray and Scott Riggs.

* BUSCH SERIES: The Federated Auto Parts 300 in Gladeville, Tenn., was postponed because of rain at Nashville Superspeedway, with series officials rescheduling the race for today at noon.

* IRL: In Fort Worth, Tomas Scheckter edged Sam Hornish Jr. by half a car-length, while Danica Patrick finished 13th -- last on the lead lap -- in the Bombardier Learjet 500, the first Indy Racing League event since her thrilling finish at the Indianapolis 500.

The 24-year-old Scheckter, who raced to his only other series victory in Michigan in 2002, became the first winner in a Chevrolet-powered car since Hornish won for Panther Racing, the team Scheckter now drives for, in the 2003 season finale.

Referring to Chevrolet, which had only two cars in the 22-car field at Texas Motor Speedway and plans to withdraw its engine from the IRL after the season, Scheckter said: "American Revolution, baby. It's good. They really worked really hard. I take my hat off to all of them, and it shows that they've come back harder than ever to win here and I thank them a lot.

"I want to be doing this again and again. We want to do this every weekend."

"Danica Mania," in full bloom since Patrick finished fourth in the Indy 500, took a night off as the 23-year-old racer, the only woman in the field, quickly slipped back into the pack after starting third.

"It seems a lot like Homestead in March," she said, referring to her IRL debut, in which she ran well but back in the pack before getting caught up in a crash. "It's a lot of side-by-side racing, and it's just something I have to get used to."

* FORUMULA ONE: Jenson Button won the second pole of his career when he earned the top starting spot for today's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Jeff Gordon signs autographs on pit row after qualifying 31st for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Michael Waltrip earned his first pole since 1991.