Gordon earns pole at Watkins Glen
By Gray Caldwell
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Jeff Gordon, the all-time leader in laps led at Watkins Glen (New York) International, will start Sunday’s race as the leader.
Gordon took home the pole during Saturday’s qualifying, marking his 75th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole.
“I am so proud of this pole,” Gordon said. “Wow, what a lap. I’m so excited. Today is [son] Leo’s birthday and I told him on the phone earlier that I was going to go try to get a pole for him, not realistically thinking that I had a shot at it, but we were going for it and we got it done. Happy birthday, buddy! I am pumped. This gives us a lot of confidence.”
It is his 22nd consecutive season with a pole, which is an all-time record.
The pole is Gordon's third at Watkins Glen.
“The way that we’ve struggled here the last couple years, this has been one of our toughest tracks, so to start the weekend off with a pole – heck yeah," he said. "We talk about real possibilities with Drive to End Hunger. After winning this pole, I truly realize anything is possible.”
Jimmie Johnson qualified in third position, Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified seventh and Kasey Kahne qualified 30th.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
Best speed: 127.012 mph
Best time: 69.442 sec.
Average start at Watkins Glen: 17.4
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS
Best speed: 129.466 mph
Best time: 68.126 sec.
Average start at Watkins Glen: 10.2
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
Best speed: 128.968 mph
Best time: 68.389 sec.
Average start at Watkins Glen: 7.2
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS
Best speed: 128.186 mph
Best time: 68.806 sec.
Average start at Watkins Glen: 18.0