Joe Nemechek booked himself and his #78 Furniture Row Racing team an express ticket to next year's Bud Shootout at Daytona after taking pole position for Sunday's Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway.

Series veteran Nemechek, who earned the moniker 'Front Row Joe' during his time with Andy Petree Racing in the 1990's, gave the Colorado based Furniture Row team their first Sprint Cup pole position since joining the series in 2006 in a typically jumbled restrictor plate qualifying session at the 2.66-mile track.

Nemechek, one of eleven drivers present this weekend not guaranteed a place on the grid for Sunday's race, turned a fastest lap of 51.103-seconds (187.386mph) on his qualifying run to deny Tony Stewart top spot on the 43-car grid.

Since the formation of the top 35 qualifying rule, restrictor plate tracks have seen many of the guaranteed teams almost completely forego a qualifying run in favour of finding a qualifying slot that will hopefully see them avoid any potential early race trouble. This strategy was employed once again on Saturday leaving those teams fighting for their place in the field with a chance to squabble over the major placings.

"I am so proud of all the Furniture Row/National Day of Prayer crew guys," said Nemechek. "They've worked so hard to make this happen. We had a fast Chevy Impala SS today. I want to thank Jay Guy (crew chief), Joe Garone (general manager) and Barney Visser (team owner) for giving us this opportunity."

"We have a special sponsor on board here -- National Day of Prayer," added Nemechek. "How many times do you get to qualify and sit on the pole when your car says, 'We need to pray as a nation.' It is a big statement. We need to go out tomorrow and get a strong finishing result to cap off the weekend. We're ready and pumped for the race."

It was a record-setting qualifying run for Nemechek, whose four career poles at Talladega leads all active Cup drivers.

"That's pretty cool to hold the record," noted Nemechek. "I also want to thank Hendrick Motorsports. The Hendrick engines have been incredible this year. We are getting better and better at making these cars go around the corner and getting them to go faster. It is a big day for Furniture Row Racing."

Behind Nemechek and Stewart Ken Schrader successfully qualified the #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet third with the returning AJ Allmendinger a career best fourth for Red Bull Racing. Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch rounded out the top five with David Ragan, Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jimmie Johnson making up the rest of the top ten.

The remaining non-guaranteed drivers who successfully made the cut were Jon Wood in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford in 12th position, Kyle Petty in 15th, Sterling Marlin in 16th in the #09 Phoenix Racing entry, Patrick Carpentier in 17th and Dario Franchitti who qualified 19th fastest but will start from 43rd and last as per the NASCAR rulebook.

That meant that both Dave Blaney and JJ Yeley failed to make the cut despite qualifying among the top 25 with John Andretti completing the list of non-qualifiers.

Double 2007 Talladega winner Jeff Gordon will start 20th while all three Richard Childress Racing entries including championship leader Jeff Burton and Friday morning practice pacesetter Kevin Harvick will start no higher than 38th.