Skip to content

Jeff Gordon captures dramatic pole for NASCAR at Charlotte

Oct 10, 2013, 8:36 PM EDT

Bank of America 500 - Practice Getty Images

With a cooling track and the top drivers in the series last in the draw, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had a dynamic conclusion to its qualifying session for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The last four drivers to go out all beat provisional polesitter Kasey Kahne, culminating with Jeff Gordon taking the pole as the last driver to run. Gordon’s 74th pole of his career is his second this season (Richmond in the regular season finale) and came after a flier of 194.308 mph (27.791 seconds) at the 1.5-mile oval. Gordon, who has yet to win this season, has five prior Charlotte victories.

“Man that was awesome!” Gordon exhaled after the session, to ESPN. “It’s been a while since we got pole here, and do it in that kind of fashion. The way the draw was, a lot of cars went late, but times didn’t pick up as much as we thought. Then guys started putting down good laps, so I knew the grip was there. Phenomenal job by the guys on the Axalta Chevrolet. I gotta thank ‘Squirrel’ for that draw. He drew (number) 2 last week, he made up for it today.”

Gordon’s car stuck best through Turns 3 and 4 and ultimately that was the difference to net his ninth Charlotte pole.

“We got through 3 and 4 good in practice, but freed the car up a bit though,” Gordon explained. “That would help my car in 1 and 2. I had a lot of confidence. It went through 1/2 as good as it could. I could be committed, the front end kept cutting, kept the throttle open. Didn’t know if it was going to be enough, and it was.”

Gordon’s lap bumped Kevin Harvick, who had bumped Greg Biffle, who had bumped Kahne in what was a domino effect of next-car-out setting the fastest lap. Harvick starts second, but the Kansas winner still felt he left a little on the table in his No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, with a fast lap of 194.203 mph (27.806 seconds).

“I felt like I didn’t get everything in 3/4,” Harvick told ESPN. “From the way practice was, I had to get everything in 1/2 and not get tight off 4. But I lost it there. We knew we needed to qualify better and race better 1.5-miles, and we’re doing that. We would really have liked to have the pole, but everyone knows how we’ve qualified in the past, so being on the front row is a major benefit.”

Biffle, who was briefly on pole at 193.959 (27.841), lines up third ahead of Gordon’s three Hendrick Motorsports teammates: Jimmie Johnson, Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Junior” gave it a ride on his 39th birthday and nearly knocked off Kahne, but he felt he underdrove going into Turn 3 and lost time there.

Ryan Newman, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch rounded out the top 10.

Points leader Matt Kenseth is in-between Cup series debutantes Brian Scott and Kyle Larson in 20th on the grid. Larson estimated his No. 51 Target Chevrolet was loose in Turns 1 and 2, and tight in 3 and 4, as he’ll line up 21st.

Travis Kvapil, racing this weekend despite assault charges levied against him, qualified 41st and the third weekend debutante, Blake Koch, posted the slowest lap of the evening at 180.572 mph (29.905 seconds) and will start shotgun on the 43-car field in the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford.

The race goes green on Saturday evening.

Latest Posts
  1. Engine glitch leaves Grosjean fuming over the radio in Singapore

    Sep 20, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice Getty Images

    “We break our balls to make a good qualifying and you lose five-tenths every single straight line because the thing cuts” – tough talk from the Frenchman.

  2. Vettel thinks pole was possible in Singapore

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion disappointed to only finish fourth in qualifying at Marina Bay.

  3. Magnussen: McLaren can’t be happy with today (VIDEO)

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Reaching Q3 for the seventh race in a row not enough for Magnussen.

  4. Jeff Gordon posts quickest lap in final Sprint Cup practice at N.H.

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

    For the first time all weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, someone else besides Brad Keselowski got to the top of the leaderboard.

  5. Alonso happy with fifth in Singapore GP qualifying (VIDEO)

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Ferrari looked to be in the running for pole in Singapore, but Alonso is still pleased with fifth place on the grid.

  6. Ricciardo: Red Bull closer to Mercedes than expected

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Australian driver qualifies third for the Singapore Grand Prix ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

  7. NASCAR: Cole Custer on pole for Truck Series at N.H.

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    Carneros 200 - Qualifying Getty Images

    The 16-year-old earns his second career Truck Series pole ahead of today’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  8. Rosberg frustrated to fall 0.007 seconds short of pole

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The F1 championship leader falls agonizingly short of pole position in qualifying for the Singapore GP on Saturday.

  9. Hamilton fights back for pole despite mistake on Q3 lap

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Briton makes up for an error at the first corner to beat teammate Nico Rosberg by just 0.007 seconds.

  10. Keselowski stays hot in cold 2nd Sprint Cup practice at N.H.

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Under overcast skies and with ambient temperatures around 40 degrees – a far cry from what’s expected for Sunday – Keselowski posted a hot lap of 135.622 mph to pace the field.

  11. Hamilton snatches Singapore pole away from Rosberg

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Hamilton bags pole position by the narrowest of margins on Saturday night in Singapore.

  12. WATCH LIVE: Singapore GP Qualifying – an open fight under the lights?

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Can Ferrari or Red Bull spoil Mercedes’ party in Singapore? Join us live on CNBC and Live Extra from 9am ET today.

  13. Red Bull GRC: LA course preview with Ken Block (VIDEO)

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT

    FIA World Rally Championship Mexico - Day Two Getty Images

    Track preview of LA course for Red Bull Global Rallycross.

  14. Tost convinced Verstappen is the right man for Toro Rosso

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Dutch youngster is set to take part in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

  15. Three-car teams must be a last resort for Formula 1

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews Getty Images

    With the future of as many as four teams in the lurch, F1 could be forced to take drastic action in 2015. However, efforts must be made to resolve the current situation instead of finding a solution to a future problem.

  16. Fernando Alonso closes out practice in Singapore fastest

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:04 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice Getty Images

    Spaniard fastest ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg.

  17. WATCH LIVE: FP3 for the Singapore Grand Prix

    Sep 20, 2014, 5:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice Getty Images

    FP3 marks the final chance for the drivers and teams to get everything set for qualifying later today.

  18. Keselowski: Stewart/Ward case being sent to grand jury “feels like a little bit of a cop out”

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:13 PM EDT

    MyAfibStory.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Keselowski’s comments today at New Hampshire seem odd considering what he said just days after the Aug. 9 tragedy in upstate New York.

  19. NASCAR: RCR, Roush teams looking strong in NNS practice at Kentucky

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Kentucky Speedway - Day 1 Getty Images

    Chris Buescher (RFR), Cale Conley (RCR) shine for these teams.

  20. NASCAR: Matt Crafton, Cole Custer top Truck Practice 2 and 3 at Loudon

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    UNOH 175 - Practice Getty Images

    Crafton hopes to build up his slim lead in the Camping World Truck Series championship with a strong outing in tomorrow’s UNOH 175.

Video from NASCAR America

Which longshot will advance in Chase?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (1879)
  2. J. Gordon (1470)
  3. K. Busch (1429)
  4. K. Harvick (1372)
  5. M. Crafton (1341)