NSCS: Jeff Gordon grabs 71st career pole, second-straight at Talladega

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR

For the 71st time in his career, Jeff Gordon will start a race from the pole position after he won the pole for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon, who was the 40th of 44 cars to take time in the session, grabbed the pole away from A.J. Allmendinger to take his first pole since this race last year.

“This is a surprise,” said Gordon to the Speed crew after he had won the pole. “We honestly didn’t expect to be getting the pole”

After his lap of 191.623 mph, Gordon was able to fend of late challenges from Matt Kenseth, Michael Waltrip and Aric Almirola for his 20th consecutive season with a pole in Sprint Cup competition.

The fact that Gordon is on the pole isn’t a surprise in the least. With 85 career wins and now 71 career poles, Gordon has now tied David Pearson for third on the all-time pole winner list. But, the way Gordon won this pole was a bit of a surprise.

Unlike the other 43 drivers, Gordon didn’t run his first lap of qualifying on the top of the race track, instead he took his No.24 to the bottom of the track and set a fast time early. On his second lap, Gordon found his number on top of the scoring pylon with just three cars left.

The start to the 2012 season hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Gordon and his Hendrick Motosports team. Back in 18th spot in points after the first nine races, Gordon still feels confident in his team to get the job done heading into the month of May.

“We’re running really good,” said Gordon. “We have to good of an organization to stay like this. We’ve got the organiztion, we’ve not wavered and we’re ready for the test.”

After being apart of the three-wide finish last year that saw teammate, Jimmie Johnson take the win, Gordon heads into Sunday’s race looking to get his season back on track.

For the second straight week, J.J. Yeley and is No.49 team failed to make the race, the third time this season he hasn’t been able to time  his way in.

Allmendinger, Macros Ambrose, Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, and Matt Kenseth round out the top-ten starters for Sunday’s race.

Starting Lineup for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega 

  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. A.J. Allmendinger
  3. Marcos Ambrose
  4. Aric Almirola
  5. Kasey Kahne
  6. Greg Biffle
  7. Carl Edwards
  8. Tony Stewart
  9. Michael Waltrip
  10. Matt Kenseth
  11. Trevor Bayne
  12. Juan Pablo Montoya
  13. Brad Keselowski
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. Martin Truex Jr.
  16. Josh Wise
  17. Paul Menard
  18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  19. Jimmie Johnson
  20. Kevin Harvick
  21. Kyle Busch
  22. Denny Hamlin
  23. Jamie McMurray
  24. Clint Bowyer
  25. Casey Mears
  26. David Gilliland
  27. David Stremme
  28. Terry Labonte
  29. Jeff Burton
  30. Joey Logano
  31. Regan Smith
  32. David Ragan
  33. Kurt Busch
  34. David Reutimann
  35. Michael McDowell
  36. Bill Elliott
  37. Joe Nemechek
  38. Dave Blaney
  39. Robert Richardson Jr.
  40. Landon Cassill
  41. Travis Kvapil
  42. Bobby Labonte
  43. Tony Raines

 

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