NASCAR Talladega: Jeff Gordon takes pole position

Jeff Gordon claimed pole position for the final Talladega race of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career after dominating qualifying

NASCAR Talladega: Jeff Gordon takes pole position

Gordon led the first round by 0.219 seconds from fellow Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driver Kasey Kahne and he repeated that feat in the pole positon shootout, but with an improved time of 49.234s.

Jimmie Johnson made it a top-three lockout for Hendrick, with the team's fourth driver Dale Earnhardt Jr in fifth.

The interloper in fourth was Joe Gibbs Toyota driver Matt Kenseth, just one thousandth of a second slower than Johnson.

Kenseth and Earnhardt Jr are 12th and 11th in the Chase standings and must break into the top eight after Sunday's race to proceed to the next round.

Sixth was Trevor Bayne, whose only previous top 10 start this year came on a grid set by practice times.

Kevin Harvick took seventh ahead of Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, with last week's controversial Kansas winner Joey Logano 10th.

Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart completed the 12 drivers that made it through to round two.

Five Chase drivers didn't make the cut. Directly behind 13th-placed Paul Menard were Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, while Ryan Newman followed Ricky Stenhouse Jr in 18th.

Martin Truex Jr will have to start from the rear of the 43-car field after having his first-round lap disallowed for running beneath the yellow line.

The Furniture Row racer, currently on the bubble in eighth place in the standings, said he was unaware of the rule.

A further bizarre incident came near the end of the first round when Clint Bowyer, prior to leaving the pitlane for his lap, reversed into Justin Allgaier's #51 HScott entry - the car he will take over next season.

STARTING GRID

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.234s -
2 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.453s 0.219s
3 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.467s 0.233s
4 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.468s 0.234s
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.575s 0.341s
6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.674s 0.440s
7 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.720s 0.486s
8 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.737s 0.503s
9 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 49.743s 0.509s
10 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 49.746s 0.512s
11 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 49.820s 0.586s
12 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.845s 0.611s
13 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.749s 0.515s
14 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.792s 0.558s
15 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.792s 0.558s
16 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.824s 0.590s
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.880s 0.646s
18 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.891s 0.657s
19 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.915s 0.681s
20 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.924s 0.690s
21 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 49.940s 0.706s
22 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 49.943s 0.709s
23 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 49.946s 0.712s
24 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 49.981s 0.747s
25 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 50.002s 0.768s
26 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 50.009s 0.775s
27 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 50.077s 0.843s
28 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 50.095s 0.861s
29 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 50.109s 0.875s
30 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 50.146s 0.912s
31 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 50.179s 0.945s
32 Timmy Hill Premium Motorsports Ford 50.246s 1.012s
33 Michael Waltrip Phil Parsons Racing Toyota 50.338s 1.104s
34 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.358s 1.124s
35 Bobby Labonte Go FAS Racing Ford 50.449s 1.215s
36 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 50.528s 1.294s
37 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 50.549s 1.315s
38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.570s 1.336s
39 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 50.631s 1.397s
40 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.744s 1.510s
41 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet 50.885s 1.651s
42 Travis Kvapil Circle Sport Chevrolet 50.889s 1.655s
43 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet - -

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