NASCAR Charlotte 2013 qualifying results: 'Awesome' lap gives Jeff Gordon pole

Streeter Lecka

In a game of one-upmanship between Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick, it was Gordon who earned the pole position in qualifying for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A lap he described as "awesome" was good enough to give Jeff Gordon the pole-position in qualifying Thursday night for Saturday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The last of 43 qualifiers, Gordon traveled 194.308 mph the 1.5-mile oval to secure his second pole of the season and the 74th of his career. Immediately preceding Gordon was Kevin Harvick, who had unseated Greg Biffle just minutes before to take the provisional pole and was also the No. 1 qualifier a week ago at Kansas Speedway.

Gordon enters the weekend fourth in the Sprint Cup standings, 32 points behind leader Matt Kenseth, who qualified 20th.

A four-time Cup champion and a late entry into Chase after not originally qualifying, Gordon is determined to win his first title since 2001 and his first under the current Chase format.

"Man, that was awesome," Gordon said. "It's been a while since we've had a pole here at Charlotte as well as doing it in that fashion. The way that the draw was today, there's a lot of fast cars going late in qualifying.

"But when you didn't see the lap times picking up as much as we thought they were going to, I didn't know if that late draw was going to really be a big factor. But I saw that the guys ahead of me were putting down good laps and I knew the grip was there and what the car did in practice."

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne posted the fourth and fifth fastest times, respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (sixth), Ryan Newman (seventh), Juan Pablo Montoya (eighth), Kyle Busch (ninth) and Kurt Busch (10th) rounded out the top 10.

A trio of drivers qualified for their first Cup race: Brian Scott (19th), Kyle Larson (21st) and Blake Koch (43rd).

Bank of America 500 starting lineup

1) Jeff Gordon

2) Kevin Harvick

3) Greg Biffle

4) Jimmie Johnson

5) Kasey Kahne

6) Dale Earnhardt Jr.

7) Ryan Newman

8) Juan Pablo Montoya

9) Kyle Busch

10) Kurt Busch

11) Aric Almirola

12) Joey Logano

13) Paul Menard

14) Clint Bowyer

15) Carl Edwards

16) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17) Martin Truex Jr.

18) Denny Hamlin

19) Brian Scott

20) Matt Kenseth

21) Kyle Larson

22) Mark Martin

23) Brad Keselowski

24) Bobby Labonte

25) Jamie McMurray

26) Jeff Burton

27) Brian Vickers

28) Casey Mears

29) Marcos Ambrose

30) David Ragan

31) Cole Whitt

32) Landon Cassill

33) Josh Wise

34) David Gilliland

35) Danica Patrick

36) David Reutimann

37) Michael McDowell

38) Joe Nemechek

39) Dave Blaney

40) Timmy Hill

41) Travis Kvapil

42) JJ Yeley

43) Blake Koch

More from SB Nation:

Complete coverage of the 2013 Sprint Cup Chase

Kyle Busch's season at crossroads

Bristol NASCAR track to host college football game

Travis Kvapil arrested on domestic abuse charges

Longform: The good times and hard life of Dick Trickle

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