Getty Images for NASCAR

Getty Images for NASCAR (September 7, 2012)

It's a Hendrick Motorsports front row at Richmond International Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for Saturday night's "regular-season" finale. He turned a lap at 127.023 mph in his Chevrolet to bump teammate Jeff Gordon from the top starting spot.

It's the first pole for NASCAR's most popular driver since the 2011 Daytona 500, and it's the 11th time he claimed the top spot in qualifying.

It came at the expense of Gordon, who is trying to race his way into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Gordon wound up second, and needs a strong race to earn one of the two wild card berths into the 12-driver Chase field.

Kyle Busch, who is battling Gordon for a wild card, qualified 15th.