Watkins Glen, NY (Sports Network) - Marcos Ambrose continued his dominance at Watkins Glen International on Saturday by winning the pole for the Cheez-It 355.
Ambrose, who is attempting to win his third consecutive Sprint Cup Series race at this 2.45-mile road course, set a new track qualifying record with a lap at 128.241 mph. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver ran in the eighth and final qualifying group. He scored his third career pole in the series. His most recent pole came in June 2012 on the road course in Sonoma, Calif.
The top-10 finishers in qualifying surpassed the previous track record of 127.020 mph, set by Juan Pablo Montoya one year ago.
Clint Bowyer will start alongside Ambrose on the front row after posting a lap at 127.958 mph.
Martin Truex Jr., who is Bowyer's teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, qualified third. Truex won the first road course race this season in June at Sonoma.
A.J. Allmendinger, driving the No. 47 Toyota for JTG/Daugherty Racing in this race, took the fourth spot, followed by Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard. Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth completed the top-10. Keselowski has finished second to Ambrose in the previous two races here.
Max Papis, who is substituting for the injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet, qualified 29th. Stewart suffered a broken right leg in a crash during a sprint car race last Monday in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The three-time Sprint Cup champion and five-time Watkins Glen race winner has had two surgical procedures to repair his fractured tibia and fibula since his accident. He will be sidelined indefinitely.
All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers struggled in qualifying. Jimmie Johnson, the current points leader, qualified 18th, one spot ahead of his teammate, Kasey Kahne, who won last Sunday's race at Pocono. Dale Earnhardt Jr. placed 25th, and Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner at Watkins Glen, was 28th.
Danica Patrick will start 35th.
All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's 90-lap race, which is scheduled to start shortly after 1 p.m. ET.