Carl Edwards won the pole for the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday.
Edwards, who also won the pole in June at NASCAR's other road course in Sonoma, turned a fast lap of 126.562 mph to edge Kyle Larson for the top spot.
Five-time Watkins Glen winner Tony Stewart qualified third in the final road race of his career, followed by Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch.
Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Jamie McMurray, Michael McDowell and Brad Keselowski completed the top 12.
Martin Truex Jr., who had topped the speed charts in Friday's first practice and was second to Allmendinger in final practice, wound up 14th after problems with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Jeff Gordon, subbing again for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified 21st.