Sports

Jeff Gordon outfoxes the field in group qualifying to win pole for final Daytona 500 of career

  • Jeff Gordon holds up the pole position flag after he qualified first for the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

    Jeff Gordon holds up the pole position flag after he qualified first for the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)  (The Associated Press)

  • Reed Sorenson's car is towed back to the garage after he was involved in a wreck during qualifying for the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

    Reed Sorenson's car is towed back to the garage after he was involved in a wreck during qualifying for the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)  (The Associated Press)

Jeff Gordon will start from the pole in his final Daytona 500 of his career.

Gordon announced last month this will be his final full-time season, and he's been adamant next Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 will be the last of his career.

The four-time NASCAR champion is a three-time winner of "The Great American Race."

Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson locked down the front row in Sunday's qualifying session, which was done in knockout rounds for the first time in 57 years.

The qualifying was blasted by most of the drivers. Clint Bowyer called it a "cute show" after he wrecked in the first round. Reigning champion Kevin Harvick grumbled Daytona's tradition had been ruined, while three-time champion Tony Stewart called it "a complete embarrassment for our series."