Gordon takes pole for Chase decider

Gordon takes pole for Chase decider

Cup Series

Gordon takes pole for Chase decider


Jeff Gordon boosted his hopes of squeezing into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase by claiming pole for the deciding race at Richmond.

Hendrick driver Gordon is currently 11th in the standings, six points away from the top 10 and yet to win this year. His late 20.674-second, 130.599mph lap deposed the driver he is chasing in the championship: Furniture Row’s Kurt Busch. Busch holds 10th in the points at present and will share the front row on Saturday night.

Reigning champion Brad Keselowski who is now a Chase long shot qualified third for Penske with his first lap before a big slide on lap two ended his pole bid. The Toyotas of Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin completed the top six.

Regan Smith was 10th-fastest in Jimmie Johnson’s Hendrick Chevrolet, having stood in for the four-time champion for one day only due to the birth of Johnson’s second child. Johnson will be back to take part in the race, but will have to start from last.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time     Gap 1.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           20.674s 2.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      20.716s  +0.042s 3.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                  20.744s  +0.070s 4.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               20.766s  +0.092s 5.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             20.791s  +0.117s 6.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota             20.793s  +0.119s 7.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  20.819s  +0.145s 8.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  20.828s  +0.154s 9.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            20.871s  +0.197s10.  Regan Smith         Hendrick Chevrolet           20.884s  +0.210s11.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               20.894s  +0.220s12.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  20.910s  +0.236s13.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             20.911s  +0.237s14.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           20.919s  +0.245s15.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   20.921s  +0.247s16.  Mark Martin         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       20.926s  +0.252s17.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          20.931s  +0.257s18.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           20.939s  +0.265s19.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet          20.960s  +0.286s20.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota               20.972s  +0.298s21.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford            20.998s  +0.324s22.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          21.002s  +0.328s23.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford               21.014s  +0.340s24.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       21.031s  +0.357s25.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                 21.036s  +0.362s26.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            21.046s  +0.372s27.  Josh Wise           Front Row Ford               21.049s  +0.375s28.  Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet            21.052s  +0.378s29.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                  21.081s  +0.407s30.  Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                 21.086s  +0.412s31.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                 21.119s  +0.445s32.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                   21.127s  +0.453s33.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                    21.145s  +0.471s34.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Toyota         21.172s  +0.498s35.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                    21.193s  +0.519s36.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       21.212s  +0.538s37.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford               21.218s  +0.544s38.  Ryan Truex          Phoenix Chevrolet            21.244s  +0.570s39.  Reed Sorenson       Leavine Ford                 21.322s  +0.648s40.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            21.361s  +0.687s41.  Tony Raines         Circle Sport Chevrolet       21.405s  +0.731s42.  Ken Schrader        FAS Lane Ford                21.450s  +0.776s43.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet            21.467s  +0.793sDid not qualify:     Mike Bliss          Humphrey Smith Toyota        21.225s