RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- David Reutimann, among the last to make his qualifying run, won the pole Friday for the final Sprint Cup race prior to the start of the championship chase.
Reutimann traveled at 127.383 mph during his lap around the Richmond International Raceway and will start out front in Saturday's Wonderful Pistachios 400.
After this weekend's race, the top 10 point earners and two wild-card entrants, based on number of victories, will compete for the series title. That competition will take place over 10 races, the final one coming Nov. 20 in Homestead, Fla.
This is the fourth pole in Reutimann's career and his first in 84 races. He was the 40th out of 46 would-be qualifiers to make his attempt. Jamie McMurray qualified second, just .0008 of a second behind Reutimann.
Neither of the top two qualifiers has a chance to make the chase for the championship.
Points leader Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer rounded out the Top 5 qualifiers.
The last two spots in the points standings are currently held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart.
Stewart will start 22nd and will clinch a spot in the chase if he finishes 18th or better in the race. Earnhardt qualified 27th and he will have a spot in the chase if he winds up no worse than 20th.