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Charlotte: Cup qualifying

Jeff Gordon will start from pole position for Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the fifth race of the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Jeff Gordon held off last week's race winner Kevin Harvick by 0.015s to secure pole position for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Putting a late draw to good use, Gordon posted a time of 27.791s (194.308mph) on Thursday night to capture his second pole of the year and his 74th pole in 720 Cup starts. It's his ninth pole at Charlotte, a venue where the 42-year-old holds the record for being the youngest pole winner in the series' history - he was just 22 years, two months and six days old when he captured his first Charlotte pole on October 10, 1993.

"It was an added bonus to go out late," said Gordon, acknowledging that the later time meant cooler conditions and slightly better grip. "There is nothing greater than when it's all on the line and all the pressure is there. You're the final car to go. There's nothing worse than letting them down, and nothing better than stepping up and knocking it out of the park."

"That late draw certainly is always good just seeing what the other guys are doing, the grip level, what the track conditions are. I felt confident all day in the car. It just had good grip, was doing the things I wanted it to do and to then go out there," he continued. "To do it here in Charlotte as well, I think it's been awhile since we've won a pole here. Man it feels so good. Very proud of this team they deserve a lot of credit. They gave me a fantastic car not just today but they have been bringing them for the last several weeks. That is making a lot of fun for us."

Gordon is well supported at the front by his Hendrick Motorsport team mates for the start of the floodlit race, with all four in the top six: Jimmie Johnson will start from fourth ahead of Kasey Kahne (fastest in the earlier single practice session) and Dale Earnhardt Jr, the trio sandwiched by Greg Biffle starting alongside Johnson on the second row and Ryan Newman taking up seventh place on the grid for Stewart-Haas Racing.

The Busch brothers Kyle and Kurt start from ninth and tenth, with Joey Logano lining up in 12th and Clint Bowyer immediately behind him in 14th. Carl Edwards makes it an all-Roush Fenway Racing row eight as he lines up alongside his rookie team mate Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but there's a less-than-idea 20th position on the grid for points leader Matt Kenseth who is the slowest of the 13 Chase contenders in qualifying.

As well as the Chase contenders, this weekend's night race will also see the Cup debut for Kyle Larson, the Nationwide Series rookie who will take over the #42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing car from Juan Pablo Montoya in 2014. He qualified a creditable 21st position for his maiden outing. Also making their bow at the top level of NASCAR this weekend are Brian Scott and Blake Koch.

Qualifying times

1. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 27.791s (Pole) 194.308mph
2. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 27.806s (+ 0.015s) 194.203mph
3. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 27.841s (+ 0.050s) 193.959mph
4. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 27.865s (+ 0.074s) 193.791mph
5. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 27.879s (+ 0.088s) 193.694mph
6. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 27.902s (+ 0.111s) 193.535mph
7. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 27.913s (+ 0.122s) 193.458mph
8. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 27.919s (+ 0.128s) 193.417mph
9. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 27.921s (+ 0.130s) 193.403mph
10. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 27.963s (+ 0.172s) 193.112mph
11. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 27.980s (+ 0.189s) 192.995mph
12. #22 Joey Logano Ford 27.983s (+ 0.192s) 192.974mph
13. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 28.015s (+ 0.224s) 192.754mph
14. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 28.020s (+ 0.229s) 192.719mph
15. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 28.041s (+ 0.250s) 192.575mph
16. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 28.072s (+ 0.281s) 192.362mph
17. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 28.091s (+ 0.300s) 192.232mph
18. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 28.107s (+ 0.316s) 192.123mph
19. #33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 28.122s (+ 0.331s) 192.020mph
20. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 28.126s (+ 0.335s) 191.993mph
21. #51 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 28.131s (+ 0.340s) 191.959mph
22. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 28.157s (+ 0.366s) 191.782mph
23. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 28.162s (+ 0.371s) 191.748mph
24. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 28.179s (+ 0.388s) 191.632mph
25. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 28.189s (+ 0.398s) 191.564mph
26. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 28.203s (+ 0.412s) 191.469mph
27. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 28.278s (+ 0.487s) 190.961mph
28. #13 Casey Mears Ford 28.333s (+ 0.542s) 190.590mph
29. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 28.339s (+ 0.548s) 190.550mph
30. #34 David Ragan Ford 28.369s (+ 0.578s) 190.349mph
31. #30 Cole Whitt Toyota 28.370s (+ 0.579s) 190.342mph
32. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 28.470s (+ 0.679s) 189.673mph
33. #35 Josh Wise Ford 28.542s (+ 0.751s) 189.195mph
34. #38 David Gilliland Ford 28.561s (+ 0.770s) 189.069mph
35. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 28.583s (+ 0.792s) 188.923mph
36. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 28.631s (+ 0.840s) 188.607mph
37. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 28.659s (+ 0.868s) 188.422mph
38. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 28.741s (+ 0.950s) 187.885mph
39. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 28.746s (+ 0.955s) 187.852mph
40. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 28.823s (+ 1.032s) 187.350mph
41. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 28.924s (+ 1.133s) 186.696mph
42. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 29.049s (+ 1.258s) 185.893mph
43. #95 Blake Koch Ford 29.905s (+ 2.114s) 180.572mph

Practice 1 times

1. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 27.863s (Leader) 193.805mph (22 laps)
2. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 27.885s (-0.022s) 193.653mph (26 laps)
3. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 27.900s (-0.037s) 193.548mph (22 laps)
4. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 27.918s (-0.055s) 193.424mph (16 laps)
5. #22 Joey Logano Ford 27.937s (-0.074s) 193.292mph (25 laps)
6. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 27.945s (-0.082s) 193.237mph (17 laps)
7. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 27.949s (-0.086s) 193.209mph (22 laps)
8. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 27.980s (-0.117s) 192.995mph (16 laps)
9. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 27.981s (-0.118s) 192.988mph (17 laps)
10. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 28.005s (-0.142s) 192.823mph (30 laps)
11. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 28.011s (-0.148s) 192.781mph (18 laps)
12. #51 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 28.014s (-0.151s) 192.761mph (17 laps)
13. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 28.030s (-0.167s) 192.651mph (16 laps)
14. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 28.055s (-0.192s) 192.479mph (10 laps)
15. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 28.070s (-0.207s) 192.376mph (12 laps)
16. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 28.074s (-0.211s) 192.349mph (11 laps)
17. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 28.077s (-0.214s) 192.328mph (22 laps)
18. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 28.091s (-0.228s) 192.232mph (24 laps)
19. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 28.096s (-0.233s) 192.198mph (31 laps)
20. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 28.104s (-0.241s) 192.143mph (17 laps)
21. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 28.107s (-0.244s) 192.123mph (15 laps)
22. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 28.169s (-0.306s) 191.700mph (10 laps)
23. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 28.196s (-0.333s) 191.517mph (14 laps)
24. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 28.266s (-0.403s) 191.042mph (13 laps)
25. #33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 28.277s (-0.414s) 190.968mph (18 laps)
26. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 28.300s (-0.437s) 190.813mph (12 laps)
27. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 28.345s (-0.482s) 190.510mph (19 laps)
28. #30 Cole Whitt Toyota 28.362s (-0.499s) 190.396mph (20 laps)
29. #13 Casey Mears Ford 28.374s (-0.511s) 190.315mph (20 laps)
30. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 28.393s (-0.530s) 190.188mph (7 laps)
31. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 28.404s (-0.541s) 190.114mph (17 laps)
32. #34 David Ragan Ford 28.440s (-0.577s) 189.873mph (17 laps)
33. #38 David Gilliland Ford 28.452s (-0.589s) 189.793mph (18 laps)
34. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 28.530s (-0.667s) 189.274mph (15 laps)
35. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 28.614s (-0.751s) 188.719mph (11 laps)
36. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 28.665s (-0.802s) 188.383mph (9 laps)
37. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 28.739s (-0.876s) 187.898mph (12 laps)
38. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 28.845s (-0.982s) 187.207mph (8 laps)
39. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 28.879s (-1.016s) 186.987mph (6 laps)
40. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 29.015s (-1.152s) 186.111mph (6 laps)
41. #35 Josh Wise Ford 29.088s (-1.225s) 185.644mph (4 laps)
42. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 29.156s (-1.293s) 185.211mph (7 laps)
43. #95 Blake Koch Ford 29.536s (-1.673s) 182.828mph (9 laps)



Related Pictures

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Kasey Kahne, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #5 Quaker State Chevrolet SS qualified 5th Thursday, October 10, 2013 for Saturday`s Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Kahne is 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS qualified 4th Thursday, October 10, 2013 for Saturday`s Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Johnson is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS qualified 2nd Thursday, October 10, 2013 for Saturday`s Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Harvick is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #51 Target Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS won the pole with qualifying lap of 27.791 seconds, 194.308 mph Thursday, October 10, 2013 for Saturday`s Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Gordon is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
David Ragan, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, are seen on the track after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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