FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Martin Truex
Jr. took advantage of a cooler track late in qualifying Friday to win the pole for Sunday's Dickies 500 Nextel Cup race.
It was the first career pole for Truex. He captured it by turning in a lap of 27.964 around the Texas Motor Speedway.
Sunday's race will be the eighth out of 10 events that will determine the Nextel Cup champion. Jeff Gordon owns a nine-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the championship chase.
Gordon had the second-fastest qualifying time, 28.063 seconds. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kevin Harvick will make up the second row.
Johnson, who is on a two-race winning streak, qualified eighth.
The championship battle has turned into a two-driver affair, with Clint Bowyer a distant third, 111 points behind Gordon.
Gordon has never won a race at the Texas Motor Speedway, but did finish second five years ago.
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