Menu

NASCAR

Montoya on pole for Watkins Glen

Juan Pablo Montoya claimed his second consecutive pole in the Sprint Cup Series after setting a new track qualifying record on Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

Montoya, a former Formula One competitor, turned a lap around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course in 1 minute, 9.438 seconds for his ninth career pole in NASCAR's premier series. He started up front for last weekend's rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway.

"I had a pretty good lap, even though I could've got a little more," Montoya said. "Sometimes when you want a little more you actually lose."

Montoya's second and most recent Sprint Cup win came here two years ago.

Kyle Busch will start alongside Montoya on the front after posting a lap in 1:09.488.

"I just slipped a little too much in a couple of corners," Busch said. "It wasn't as smooth as I wanted it to be."

Jimmie Johnson qualified third, while Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Ambrose is the defending race winner.

The top-five finishers in qualifying surpassed Busch's track record of 1:09.767, set in 2011.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart qualified sixth and seventh, respectively, while Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. placed eighth and ninth in that order. Jamie McMurray took the 10th spot.

Jeff Gordon, who won at Pocono, qualified 12th, while his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and current points leader, Dale Earnhardt Jr., placed 16th.

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen, which is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. (ET).