CONCORD Jeff Gordon said he needed to qualify better to have a chance to return to Victory Lane.
Gordon, the last of 43 drivers to attempt a qualifying lap Thursday night, used a fast run through Turns 3 and 4 to win the pole for Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Gordon’s speed at 194.308mph barely eclipsed the lap of Kevin Harvick (194.203 mph), who went out just before Gordon.
“Man, that was awesome,” Gordon said after clinching his 74th Cup pole. “It’s been a while since we won a pole here in Charlotte and in that kind of fashion.”
With six races left in 2013, Gordon has a chance to win a fourth series championship, but he remains without a victory. He is fourth in the standings, 32 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
Harvick broke a seven-year drought by winning the pole last weekend at Kansas and nearly made it two in a row.
He turned last weekend’s pole into a victory, and his team brought the same No.29 Chevrolet to the track this week.
“We knew we needed to qualify better in the Chase, we knew we had to run better on the mile-and-a-half tracks and (my team) is bringing the cars to the race track to do that and we’re capitalizing on it,” he said.
Greg Biffle qualified third-fastest, Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Kasey Kahnefifth. Kenseth will line up 20th.
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