Jeff Gordon wins his first pole at Homestead; Harvick leads Chase contenders

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, applies a decal signifying Hendrick motorsports' 200th pole award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 14:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, applies a decal signifying Hendrick motorsports' 200th pole award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 14: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, applies a decal signifying Hendrick motorsports’ 200th pole award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Four time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon accomplished something he has never done in his long storied career as he upstaged the four Chase contenders Friday to secure the top starting spot for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Gordon put down a lap of 29.876, 180.747 mph to win the 77th pole of his career and his first at the one-mile speedway south of Miami.

“Certainly the top lane worked in the final segment,” Gordon said. “What we see with this tire, with this track, with this car is that you can run around the bottom for a lap or two when the tires have good grip in them, but you’ve got to move up the race track and I almost made a mistake in the second round by not moving up top and we got knocked back to seventh. But that run I was fully committed to it and it stuck really good.”

Among those four Chase drivers, Kevin Harvick secured fifth, Denny Hamlin eighth, Joey Logano ninth and long shot Ryan Newman 21st. Gordon’s pole run wasn’t the fastest lap; that belonged to Brad Keselowski who set a new track record in Round 1 of 3 with a speed of 181.238 mph. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.