Ambrose claims pole at the Glen

Ambrose claims pole at the Glen

Cup Series

Ambrose claims pole at the Glen


Marcos Ambrose strengthened his bid for a third straight victory at Watkins Glen by claiming the third NASCAR Sprint Cup pole position of his career.

He lapped the 3.4-mile circuit in 1m08.777s in his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford to deny Waltrip Toyota driver Clint Bowyer a first pole since 2007. Ambrose, whose only wins in the series have come at Watkins Glen, was one of a number of drivers to beat the previous qualifying record.

Everyone back to Matt Kenseth in 10th was under Juan Pablo Montoya’s record from last year of 1m09.438s.

Sonoma polesitter Jamie McMurray, running in the fourth qualifying group, looked like he might claim another road course pole when the fifth group of drivers including points leader Jimmie Johnson failed to depose the Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet.

That scenario appeared even likelier when the following group, led by Kurt Busch, failed to impose themselves on the pole battle, prompting fears the circuit was getting slower. But as the session reached its climax, the top of the leaderboard changed.

First, Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger shuffled McMurray back, and then Bowyer looked to have snatched pole with a 1m08.929s.

Martin Truex Jr failed to beat Bowyer’s benchmark as the final group began their effort, slipping into second, before Ambrose went 0.15s clear at the top.

Montoya and practice pacesetter Carl Edwards will line up 11th and 16th respectively after both drivers cut short underwhelming final efforts.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time       Gap 1.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                   1m08.777s 2.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               1m08.929s  +0.152s 3.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               1m09.197s  +0.420s 4.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Toyota         1m09.213s  +0.436s 5.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             1m09.231s  +0.454s 6.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  1m09.245s  +0.468s 7.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          1m09.369s  +0.592s 8.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                  1m09.372s  +0.595s 9.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  1m09.388s  +0.611s10.  Matt Kenseth        Roush Fenway Ford            1m09.428s  +0.651s11.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  1m09.486s  +0.709s12.  Michael McDowell    Front Row Ford               1m09.546s  +0.769s13.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      1m09.551s  +0.774s14.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       1m09.577s  +0.800s15.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota               1m09.715s  +0.938s16.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            1m09.743s  +0.966s17.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            1m09.791s  +1.014s18.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           1m09.802s  +1.025s19.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           1m09.822s  +1.045s20.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota             1m09.884s  +1.107s21.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford               1m09.931s  +1.154s22.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet          1m09.952s  +1.175s23.  Owen Kelly          Phoenix Chevrolet            1m09.994s  +1.217s24.  Ron Fellows         Circle Sport Chevrolet       1m10.042s  +1.265s25.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           1m10.069s  +1.292s26.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          1m10.161s  +1.384s27.  Boris Said          FAS Lane Ford                1m10.163s  +1.386s28.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           1m10.228s  +1.451s29.  Max Papis           Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       1m10.229s  +1.452s30.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                 1m10.622s  +1.845s31.  Davd Ragan          Front Row Ford               1m10.646s  +1.869s32.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   1m10.677s  +1.900s33.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford            1m10.800s  +2.023s34.  Victor Gonzalez Jr  Baldwin Chevrolet            1m11.199s  +2.422s35.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       1m11.273s  +2.496s36.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                    1m11.297s  +2.520s37.  Alex Kennedy        Humphrey Smith Toyota        1m11.309s  +2.532s38.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                    1m11.338s  +2.561s39.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                  1m11.616s  +2.839s40.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            1m11.652s  +2.875s41.  Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet       1m12.293s  +3.516s42.  Tomy Drissi         NEMCO Toyta                  1m13.320s  +4.543s43.  Brian Keselowski    Keselowski Toyota            1m14.165s  +5.388s