Jeff Gordon started his bid for one of the remaining Chase positions in the best way possible by winning pole position for Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Kurt Busch had claimed provisional pole early in the session as the fifth driver to make his qualifying run on the three-quarter mile short track, but finally Jeff Gordon managed to oust him with a lap of 20.674s (130.599mph), just four hundredths of a second faster than Busch's earlier benchmark.

It's Gordon's 73rd pole in 715 Cup starts and his first of 2013, meaning that has now won at least one pole in 21 consecutive seasons - breaking a record he shared with David Pearson. Gordon's time was a new track record for Richmond, breaking the previous qualifying time set by Matt Kenseth earlier this year. It's the 14th time a new track record has been set this season since the introduction of the new Gen-6 car.

Championship leader Jimmie Johnson did not take part in any of the practice qualifying sessions at Richmond on Friday, after his wife Chandra overnight gave birth to the couple's second daughter. The new arrival weighed in at 5 pounds 10 ounces and was born in hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina at 2:02am.

"Big sister Genevieve Marie, 3, is said to be very proud of her new baby sister," said a statement released on behalf of the family. "Mother and baby and are doing fine and are expected to remain in the hospital overnight." No name has yet been chosen for the Johnson's new addition.

Johnson is expected to compete as normal in tomorrow's race. Regan Smith took over the #48 for Friday's sessions and qualified in tenth place. That gives the team a decent pit stall position for the race, but as a result of missing qualifying Johnson will be required to drop to the back of the field for the start of the race on Saturday evening.

Qualifying times

1. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 20.674s (Pole) 130.599mph
2. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 20.716s (+ 0.042s) 130.334mph
3. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 20.744s (+ 0.070s) 130.158mph
4. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 20.766s (+ 0.092s) 130.020mph
5. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 20.791s (+ 0.117s) 129.864mph
6. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 20.793s (+ 0.119s) 129.851mph
7. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 20.819s (+ 0.145s) 129.689mph
8. #22 Joey Logano Ford 20.828s (+ 0.154s) 129.633mph
9. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 20.871s (+ 0.197s) 129.366mph
10. #48 Regan Smith Chevrolet 20.884s (+ 0.210s) 129.286mph
11. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 20.894s (+ 0.220s) 129.224mph
12. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 20.910s (+ 0.236s) 129.125mph
13. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 20.911s (+ 0.237s) 129.119mph
14. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 20.919s (+ 0.245s) 129.069mph
15. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 20.921s (+ 0.247s) 129.057mph
16. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 20.926s (+ 0.252s) 129.026mph
17. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 20.931s (+ 0.257s) 128.995mph
18. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 20.939s (+ 0.265s) 128.946mph
19. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 20.960s (+ 0.286s) 128.817mph
20. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 20.972s (+ 0.298s) 128.743mph
21. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 20.998s (+ 0.324s) 128.584mph
22. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 21.002s (+ 0.328s) 128.559mph
23. #34 David Ragan Ford 21.014s (+ 0.340s) 128.486mph
24. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 21.031s (+ 0.357s) 128.382mph
25. #13 Casey Mears Ford 21.036s (+ 0.362s) 128.351mph
26. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 21.046s (+ 0.372s) 128.290mph
27. #35 Josh Wise Ford 21.049s (+ 0.375s) 128.272mph
28. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 21.052s (+ 0.378s) 128.254mph
29. #30 David Stremme Toyota 21.081s (+ 0.407s) 128.077mph
30. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 21.086s (+ 0.412s) 128.047mph
31. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 21.119s (+ 0.445s) 127.847mph
32. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 21.127s (+ 0.453s) 127.799mph
33. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 21.145s (+ 0.471s) 127.690mph
34. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 21.172s (+ 0.498s) 127.527mph
35. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 21.193s (+ 0.519s) 127.401mph
36. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 21.212s (+ 0.538s) 127.286mph
37. #38 David Gilliland Ford 21.218s (+ 0.544s) 127.250mph
38. #51 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 21.244s (+ 0.570s) 127.095mph
39. #95 Reed Sorenson Ford 21.322s (+ 0.648s) 126.630mph
40. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 21.361s (+ 0.687s) 126.399mph
41. #33 Tony Raines Chevrolet 21.405s (+ 0.731s) 126.139mph
42. #32 Ken Schrader Ford 21.450s (+ 0.776s) 125.874mph
43. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 21.467s (+ 0.793s) 125.774mph

Did Not Qualify

#19 Mike Bliss Toyota 21.225s (+ 0.551s) 127.208mph

Practice 2 times

1. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 21.211s (Leader) 127.292mph (5 laps)
2. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 21.326s (-0.115s) 126.606mph (8 laps)
3. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 21.376s (-0.165s) 126.310mph (7 laps)
4. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 21.395s (-0.184s) 126.198mph (8 laps)
5. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 21.401s (-0.190s) 126.162mph (8 laps)
6. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 21.407s (-0.196s) 126.127mph (31 laps)
7. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 21.418s (-0.207s) 126.062mph (10 laps)
8. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 21.428s (-0.217s) 126.003mph (8 laps)
9. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 21.431s (-0.220s) 125.986mph (15 laps)
10. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 21.439s (-0.228s) 125.939mph (8 laps)
11. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 21.466s (-0.255s) 125.780mph (2 laps)
12. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 21.498s (-0.287s) 125.593mph (6 laps)
13. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 21.498s (-0.287s) 125.593mph (8 laps)
14. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 21.501s (-0.290s) 125.576mph (9 laps)
15. #22 Joey Logano Ford 21.512s (-0.301s) 125.511mph (29 laps)
16. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 21.524s (-0.313s) 125.441mph (5 laps)
17. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 21.551s (-0.340s) 125.284mph (24 laps)
18. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 21.554s (-0.343s) 125.267mph (11 laps)
19. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 21.559s (-0.348s) 125.238mph (12 laps)
20. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 21.583s (-0.372s) 125.098mph (8 laps)
21. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 21.586s (-0.375s) 125.081mph (12 laps)
22. #48 Regan Smith Chevrolet 21.599s (-0.388s) 125.006mph (11 laps)
23. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 21.616s (-0.405s) 124.907mph (8 laps)
24. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 21.631s (-0.420s) 124.821mph (9 laps)
25. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 21.636s (-0.425s) 124.792mph (20 laps)
26. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 21.637s (-0.426s) 124.786mph (8 laps)
27. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 21.652s (-0.441s) 124.700mph (51 laps)
28. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 21.664s (-0.453s) 124.631mph (8 laps)
29. #13 Casey Mears Ford 21.694s (-0.483s) 124.458mph (8 laps)
30. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 21.712s (-0.501s) 124.355mph (4 laps)
31. #38 David Gilliland Ford 21.747s (-0.536s) 124.155mph (20 laps)
32. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 21.754s (-0.543s) 124.115mph (9 laps)
33. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 21.759s (-0.548s) 124.087mph (7 laps)
34. #51 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 21.771s (-0.560s) 124.018mph (8 laps)
35. #35 Josh Wise Ford 21.779s (-0.568s) 123.973mph (5 laps)
36. #19 Mike Bliss Toyota 21.817s (-0.606s) 123.757mph (10 laps)
37. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 21.890s (-0.679s) 123.344mph (26 laps)
38. #34 David Ragan Ford 21.899s (-0.688s) 123.293mph (27 laps)
39. #95 Reed Sorenson Ford 21.938s (-0.727s) 123.074mph (11 laps)
40. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 21.953s (-0.742s) 122.990mph (8 laps)
41. #30 David Stremme Toyota 22.046s (-0.835s) 122.471mph (5 laps)
42. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 22.239s (-1.028s) 121.408mph (16 laps)
43. #32 Ken Schrader Ford 22.460s (-1.249s) 120.214mph (28 laps)
44. #33 Tony Raines Chevrolet 22.672s (-1.461s) 119.090mph (9 laps)

Practice 1 times

1. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 21.246s (Leader) 127.083mph (78 laps)
2. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 21.459s (-0.213s) 125.821mph (67 laps)
3. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 21.504s (-0.258s) 125.558mph (75 laps)
4. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 21.564s (-0.318s) 125.209mph (53 laps)
5. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 21.577s (-0.331s) 125.133mph (73 laps)
6. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 21.579s (-0.333s) 125.122mph (93 laps)
7. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 21.612s (-0.366s) 124.931mph (71 laps)
8. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 21.615s (-0.369s) 124.913mph (82 laps)
9. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 21.652s (-0.406s) 124.700mph (52 laps)
10. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 21.668s (-0.422s) 124.608mph (73 laps)
11. #48 Regan Smith Chevrolet 21.688s (-0.442s) 124.493mph (79 laps)
12. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 21.704s (-0.458s) 124.401mph (71 laps)
13. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 21.708s (-0.462s) 124.378mph (54 laps)
14. #22 Joey Logano Ford 21.716s (-0.470s) 124.332mph (73 laps)
15. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 21.721s (-0.475s) 124.304mph (61 laps)
16. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 21.770s (-0.524s) 124.024mph (63 laps)
17. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 21.785s (-0.539s) 123.938mph (73 laps)
18. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 21.836s (-0.590s) 123.649mph (60 laps)
19. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 21.839s (-0.593s) 123.632mph (82 laps)
20. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 21.848s (-0.602s) 123.581mph (75 laps)
21. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 21.866s (-0.620s) 123.479mph (71 laps)
22. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 21.871s (-0.625s) 123.451mph (47 laps)
23. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 21.877s (-0.631s) 123.417mph (69 laps)
24. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 21.907s (-0.661s) 123.248mph (66 laps)
25. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 21.929s (-0.683s) 123.125mph (16 laps)
26. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 21.935s (-0.689s) 123.091mph (63 laps)
27. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 21.937s (-0.691s) 123.080mph (61 laps)
28. #95 Reed Sorenson Ford 21.937s (-0.691s) 123.080mph (17 laps)
29. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 21.964s (-0.718s) 122.928mph (74 laps)
30. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 21.986s (-0.740s) 122.805mph (57 laps)
31. #34 David Ragan Ford 21.995s (-0.749s) 122.755mph (80 laps)
32. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 22.000s (-0.754s) 122.727mph (52 laps)
33. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 22.003s (-0.757s) 122.711mph (60 laps)
34. #13 Casey Mears Ford 22.024s (-0.778s) 122.594mph (59 laps)
35. #38 David Gilliland Ford 22.044s (-0.798s) 122.482mph (69 laps)
36. #32 Ken Schrader Ford 22.057s (-0.811s) 122.410mph (49 laps)
37. #30 David Stremme Toyota 22.057s (-0.811s) 122.410mph (50 laps)
38. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 22.069s (-0.823s) 122.344mph (67 laps)
39. #51 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 22.085s (-0.839s) 122.255mph (62 laps)
40. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 22.112s (-0.866s) 122.106mph (40 laps)
41. #35 Josh Wise Ford 22.117s (-0.871s) 122.078mph (41 laps)
42. #19 Mike Bliss Toyota 22.134s (-0.888s) 121.984mph (16 laps)
43. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 22.189s (-0.943s) 121.682mph (18 laps)
44. #33 Tony Raines Chevrolet 22.599s (-1.353s) 119.474mph (25 laps)

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