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ISR Racing Beat Writer
Richmond, VA- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon came up clutch Friday evening in the qualifying session for tomorrow’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond International Raceway. Gordon entered the weekend 11th in the Sprint Cup standings as Richmond is the last race before the Chase.
The 4-time Brickyard 400 champion is only six points behind Kurt Busch for the final automatic qualifying position to make NASCAR’s version of a playoff. Busch set the bar high early in the session setting a record speed which meant Gordon really needed a strong run.
Gordon came through and set the new track record with a time of 130.599 mph in the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. It broke Matt Kenseth’s record which was previously set in the spring.
The Coors Light pole award was Gordon’s 73rd Sprint Cup pole position which ranks him third all-time. He also extended his streak of winning at least one pole in every season he’s raced as it marked the 21st consecutive season. It broke a tie with David Pearson as Gordon now has the longest streak of consecutive years with at least one pole award.
For Gordon he has a great chance to race his way into the Chase now as he clearly has the fastest car. With only needing to make up six points he’s in the drivers seat to do so. It was also his sixth pole in 42 RIR starts.
Busch will start alongside while the third driver trying to race his way into the Chase defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski will start third.
For Busch it was his eighth front row start of the season while it was Keselowski’s 11th top 10 start of the season.
Tomorrow’s race can be seen live at 7PM on ABC tomorrow night.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report covering Racing. Follow Eric and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.