Jamie McMurray snatched pole in the final moments of a thrilling NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Sonoma.
McMurray, who was also on pole at the track in 2013, snatched pole from under the nose of AJ Allmendinger, who had topped the charts for JTG Daugherty for most of the session with a lap of 1m14.354s.
This is the first time the new for 2014 knockout qualifying format has been used at a road course, with an opening segment of 30 minutes deciding the top 12 shootout contenders for the final 10-minute session.
McMurray's rookie Ganassi team-mate Kyle Larson shone on his Cup road course debut by rounding out the top three, followed by Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards and Stewart-Haas pair Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick.
Despite their unassailable advantage over the competition of late - winning five of the last six races - the Hendrick Chevrolets failed to make it into the final 12.
Points leader and five-time Sonoma winner Jeff Gordon could only manage 15th and 2010 winner Jimmie Johnson could only manage 22nd.
One notable absentee from the battle for pole was road course specialist and former V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose. Despite never qualifying lower than eighth here, the Australian could only manage 23rd.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jamie McMurray Ganassi Chevrolet 1m14.354s 2. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Chevrolet 1m14.557s +0.203s 3. Kyle Larson Ganassi Chevrolet 1m14.670s +0.316s 4. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 1m14.736s +0.382s 5. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 1m14.856s +0.502s 6. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 1m14.894s +0.540s 7. Ryan Newman Childress Chevrolet 1m14.925s +0.571s 8. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 1m14.958s +0.604s 9. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 1m14.994s +0.640s 10. Joey Logano Penske Ford 1m15.081s +0.727s 11. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 1m15.414s +0.729s 12. Casey Mears Germain Chevrolet 1m15.152s +0.798s 13. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 1m14.924s Round 1 14. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 1m14.933s Round 1 15. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 1m14.975s Round 1 16. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 1m15.032s Round 1 17. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 1m15.046s Round 1 18. Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Chevrolet 1m15.054s Round 1 19. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 1m15.069s Round 1 20. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 1m15.112s Round 1 21. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 1m15.167s Round 1 22. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 1m15.176s Round 1 23. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 1m15.215s Round 1 24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 1m15.303s Round 1 25. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 1m15.376s Round 1 26. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 1m15.388s Round 1 27. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 1m15.417s Round 1 28. Michael McDowell Leavine Ford 1m15.433s Round 1 29. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 1m15.492s Round 1 30. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 1m15.518s Round 1 31. David Ragan Front Row Ford 1m15.575s Round 1 32. Cole Whitt BK Toyota 1m15.622s Round 1 33. Josh Wise Parsons Chevrolet 1m15.755s Round 1 34. Ryan Truex BK Toyota 1m15.760s Round 1 35. Justin Allgaier Hscott Chevrolet 1m16.817s Round 1 36. Alex Kennedy Circle Sport Chevrolet 1m16.094s Round 1 37. Timmy Hill Hillman Chevrolet 1m16.203s Round 1 38. Alex Bowman BK Toyota 1m16.321s Round 1 39. David Mayhew Xxxtreme Chevrolet 1m16.423s Round 1 40. Reed Sorenson Baldwin Chevrolet 1m16.622s Round 1 41. Boris Said FAS Lane Ford 1m16.721s Round 1 42. Michael Annett Baldwin Chevrolet 1m17.632s Round 1 43. Tomy Drissi NEMCO Toyota 1m18.626s Round 1