Denny Hamlin finished with a time of 30.568 seconds to win the pole for the Ford EcoBoost 400, and three of the four vying for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship will start from the top 12.
Kyle Busch came in third with a time of 30.671 seconds, which was .035 seconds behind Joey Logano for second. Jeff Gordon, who will race for the final time in his NASCAR career on Sunday in Miami, will start fifth, and Martin Truex Jr. will start at the 11th spot.
Kevin Harvick narrowly missed the third-round cut and will start 13th in Sunday's race.
|Ford EcoBoost 400 Qualifying Results|
|9||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||30.914|
|11||Martin Truex Jr.||30.946|
XFINITY Racing provided a clip of Gordon crossing the finish line in his final qualifying race:
After taking the pole at Homestead Miami Speedway, Hamlin will race Sunday as one of the favorites to win, as evidenced by this graphic that FedEx shared:
When the race begins on Sunday, all eyes will be on Gordon as he attempts to end his career on the highest of high notes, his fifth career championship.
Rightfully so, the attention should be on Gordon as it concludes a long, lengthy career of one of racing's most iconic figures. Even Hamlin, the pole-sitter himself, understands and can have a little fun with it, per Jeff Gluck of USA Today:
And if you're looking for any bit of divine intervention, look no further to how the field looks this year, per Nick DeGroot from Motorsport.com. Last year, when Harvick won the Sprint Cup, he started fifth in Miami. This year, it's Gordon.
That more than likely won't mean anything in the grand scheme of things on Sunday. Normally, starting near the front of pack in the beginning of the race would be a good thing. On the other hand, the other can be said when it comes to winning a championship. The first driver of the Championship 4 to cross the finish line wins.
Considering Gordon had to qualify twice just to get into this position, he wants to go out with a legitimate chance to win. He told NBC Sports after the qualifying round:
It wasn’t easy. Man, that was a heck of an effort by this race team. We’ve got a great race car. I just totally messed, that first run, without making a qualifying run in practice, I didn’t know how hard I could push it, how much the track had picked up and it cost me that first round. Man, top-five, that’s awesome. I’m proud of that.
Take into consideration the trips to pit road and potential cautions, and there's a lot of strategy that goes into a race of this magnitude. Regardless of the finish, Gordon is just happy to be in this situation, per Gluck:
It would surely be the ultimate culmination to one of the best careers in professional sports if Gordon were the first of the Championship 4 to cross the finish line at Homestead Miami Speedway on Sunday.