It's been an interesting week in the NASCAR Sprint Cup world, and by interesting I mean pretty doggone slow. It feels like every team in the business -- especially the ones in the Chase -- just put their collective heads down and went to work for a week without distraction.
Luckily, Friday afternoon brought something to talk about as the Sprint Cup teams headed to Dover for second race of the Chase for the Championship, and luckily for a struggling Jeff Gordon, he earned the right to start out front for Sunday's race.
Gordon dropped a lap of 157.061 mph around the one-mile concrete oval to top Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Mark Martin by mere hundreths of a second. Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and last week's winner at New Hampshire Greg Biffle rounded out the Top-5.
The pole for Gordon comes at a time when he especially needs a top-five run or even a win to break out of the funk he's experienced nearly the entire season and to put himself back in to contention for an unlikely run at a championship in the nine remaining Chase races.
On the Chase side of things, the two drivers tied at the top of the standings will start 20th (Jimmie Johnson) and 22nd (Carl Edwards).