Jeff Gordon was a road course racer in NASCAR, before road course racing in NASCAR was cool. The driver of the number 24 Chevy has nine career road course wins, including four at Watkins Glen and he will lead the field to green from the pole on Sunday.

“Qualifying is what’s really been hurting us here at Watkins Glen and I blame myself mainly,” said Gordon, who hadn’t won a pole at The Glen in 11 year.  “I’m so happy today to get three shots at it, I think that made the big difference.”

Marcos Ambrose, who won Saturday’s Nationwide race at The Glen will start second, with Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.

Kansas native Clint Bowyer has improved his stock on the road courses in recent years, but he will have his work cut out for him on Sunday, starting in the 24th possession.