NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon (24) looks on during practice for the Food City 500 auto race, Friday, March 15, 2013, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- Jeff Gordon won the pole Thursday night for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Gordon turned a lap at 194.308 mph to edge Kevin Harvick for his ninth pole at Charlotte, the second most in track history.
Greg Biffle qualified third for the Saturday night race, Jimmie Johnson was fourth, and Kasey Kahne -- who held the lead for most of the night -- was fifth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated his 39th birthday by qualifying sixth for his 500th Sprint Cup start. Ryan Newman was seventh, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch.
Gordon enters the weekend fourth in the Chase standings, 32 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with six races left. Kenseth qualified 20th.