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Cup: Sonoma - Qualifying times

Marcos Ambrose claimed his second consecutive pole position of 2012 at Sonoma on Friday evening, holding off Jeff Gordon by 0.154s on a rare road course outing for Cup drivers.
Marcos Ambrose claimed his second pole position of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career - just one week after claiming his first, at Michigan last weekend

Despite having been regarded as a road course specialist in the series because of his Australian V8 experience, Ambrose had never won pole position in four previous Sonoma outings. His lap of 75.203s (95.262mph) was 0.154s faster than that of Jeff Gordon, who will line up alongside him in second place for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday.

Gordon had earlier topped the 90-minute practice session on Friday, the rest of the top five having been dominated by four Toyota drivers (Michael Waltrip Racing pair Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer, and Joe Gibbs Racing duo Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.) Michigan race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun off during practice but did not damage his car.

Truex duly ended up as the best qualifier of the Toyota group in fifth place, but the second row was taken up by Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.

"It was on edge the whole lap,” admitted Johnson. “I don't want to drive 110 laps the way it drove today."

Brian Simo was the only driver to fail to qualify for the 43-car grid on speed.

Qualifying times

1. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 75.203s (Leader) 95.262mph
2. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 75.357s (-0.154) 95.067mph
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 75.574s (-0.371) 94.795mph
4. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 75.632s (-0.429) 94.722mph
5. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 75.661s (-0.458) 94.686mph
6. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 75.666s (-0.463) 94.679mph
7. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 75.704s (-0.501) 94.632mph
8. #51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 75.764s (-0.561) 94.557mph
9. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 75.790s (-0.587) 94.524mph
10. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 75.802s (-0.599) 94.509mph
11. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 75.807s (-0.604) 94.503mph
12. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 75.955s (-0.752) 94.319mph
13. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 75.995s (-0.792) 94.269mph
14. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 76.044s (-0.841) 94.209mph
15. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 76.046s (-0.843) 94.206mph
16. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 76.052s (-0.849) 94.199mph
17. #22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge 76.064s (-0.861) 94.184mph
18. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 76.129s (-0.926) 94.103mph
19. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 76.192s (-0.989) 94.026mph
20. #13 Casey Mears Ford 76.220s (-1.017) 93.991mph
21. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 76.254s (-1.051) 93.949mph
22. #195 Scott Speed Ford 76.283s (-1.080) 93.913mph
23. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 76.343s (-1.140) 93.840mph
24. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 76.356s (-1.153) 93.824mph
25. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 76.431s (-1.228) 93.732mph
26. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 76.434s (-1.231) 93.728mph
27. #38 David Gilliland Ford 76.601s (-1.398) 93.524mph
28. #32 Boris Said Ford 76.811s (-1.608) 93.268mph
29. #34 David Ragan Ford 76.895s (-1.692) 93.166mph
30. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 76.906s (-1.703) 93.153mph
31. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 76.979s (-1.776) 93.064mph
32. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 77.062s (-1.859) 92.964mph
33. #98 David Mayhew Ford 77.171s (-1.968) 92.833mph
34. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge 77.396s (-2.193) 92.563mph
35. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 77.483s (-2.280) 92.459mph
36. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 77.751s (-2.548) 92.140mph
37. #119 Chris Cook Toyota 77.805s (-2.602) 92.076mph
38. #249 J.J. Yeley Toyota 77.931s (-2.728) 91.927mph
39. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 78.009s (-2.806) 91.836mph
40. #26 Josh Wise* Ford 78.100s (-2.897) 91.729mph
41. #10 Tomy Drissi+ Chevrolet 79.091s (-3.888) 90.579mph
42. #83 Landon Cassill+ Toyota 80.187s (-4.984) 89.341mph
43. #33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet 78.136s (-2.933) 91.686mph

Did Not Qualify

44. #30 Brian Simo Toyota 78.658s (-3.455) 91.078mph

Practice 1

1. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 75.653s (Leader) 94.696 mph
2. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 75.833s (-0.180) 94.471 mph
3. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 75.858s (-0.205) 94.440 mph
4. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 75.900s (-0.247) 94.387 mph
5. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 75.932s (-0.279) 94.348 mph
6. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 75.937s (-0.284) 94.341 mph
7. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 75.959s (-0.306) 94.314 mph
8. #38 David Gilliland Ford 75.976s (-0.323) 94.293 mph
9. #51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 75.978s (-0.325) 94.290 mph
10. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 75.983s (-0.330) 94.284 mph
11. #22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge 76.015s (-0.362) 94.245 mph
12. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 76.032s (-0.379) 94.224 mph
13. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 76.085s (-0.432) 94.158 mph
14. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 76.179s (-0.526) 94.042 mph
15. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 76.182s (-0.529) 94.038 mph
16. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 76.208s (-0.555) 94.006 mph
17. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 76.209s (-0.556) 94.005 mph
18. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 76.226s (-0.573) 93.984 mph
19. #195 Scott Speed Ford 76.278s (-0.625) 93.920 mph
20. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 76.285s (-0.632) 93.911 mph
21. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 76.321s (-0.668) 93.867 mph
22. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 76.326s (-0.673) 93.860 mph
23. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 76.348s (-0.695) 93.834 mph
24. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 76.363s (-0.710) 93.815 mph
25. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 76.369s (-0.716) 93.808 mph
26. #13 Casey Mears Ford 76.422s (-0.769) 93.743 mph
27. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 76.509s (-0.856) 93.636 mph
28. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 76.526s (-0.873) 93.615 mph
29. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 76.535s (-0.882) 93.604 mph
30. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 76.816s (-1.163) 93.262 mph
31. #34 David Ragan Ford 76.842s (-1.189) 93.230 mph
32. #32 Boris Said Ford 76.883s (-1.230) 93.180 mph
33. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 76.887s (-1.234) 93.176 mph
34. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge 77.249s (-1.596) 92.739 mph
35. #98 David Mayhew Ford 77.251s (-1.598) 92.737 mph
36. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 77.476s (-1.823) 92.467 mph
37. #249 J.J. Yeley Toyota 77.805s (-2.152) 92.076 mph
38. #26 Josh Wise* Ford 78.014s (-2.361) 91.830 mph
39. #30 Brian Simo Toyota 78.073s (-2.420) 91.760 mph
40. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 78.153s (-2.500) 91.666 mph
41. #119 Chris Cook Toyota 78.167s (-2.514) 91.650 mph
42. #83 Landon Cassill Toyota 78.666s (-3.013) 91.069 mph
43. #10 Tomy Drissi Chevrolet 78.728s (-3.075) 90.997 mph
44. #33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet 80.264s (-4.611) 89.256 mph

* Denotes Rookie



Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson clips an apex on Sonoma`s 1.99-mile road course during Friday`s practice sessions on June 22, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Todd Warshaw, Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon drives his #24 Chevrolet over the rumble strips at Sonoma during practice Friday, June 22, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Tom Pennington, Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose navigates the turns at Sonoma during opening practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Friday, June 22, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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