Front Row Joe Returns

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Joe Nemechek pulled off a major upset Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway winning the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499.

Nemechek drove his Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet to the top spot with a lap of 187.386 mph to earn his fourth career pole at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

"It means a lot for a lot of reasons. One, we have struggled a lot this year at a lot of other tracks. We were really good at Daytona and we had a lugnut go through the oil cooler. It was a tough deal.

"I want to thank Hendrick Motorsports. The engines have been incredible this year. We are getting better and better at making these cars to go around the corner and getting them to go faster. It is a big day."

Nemechek was 45th of the 46 drivers attempting to qualify and had to make the field on time as a result of the team not being in the top-35 in 2008 owner's point standings.

His last pole came nearly three years ago.

The lap knocked Tony Stewart off the speed chart to second after his lap of 186.896 mph.

Ken Schrader turned in another surprising run in the CNC-Hass No. 70 Chevroet with the third fastest lap at 186.499 mph.

"The Haas/CNC grout built us a heck of a little car," Schrader said.

A.J. Allmendinger, who returned to the Team Red Bull No. 84 entry this weekend, was fourth quickest in the session with Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

"It was important for everybody at the team to make the this race but it was probably double important for me just getting back in," Allmendinger said.

Toyota grabbed three of the first five starting spots.

David Ragan, Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson completed the first ten qualifiers.

Defending race winner Jeff Gordon will start 20th.

Three drivers failed to make Sunday's race: John Andretti, Dave Blaney and J.J. Yeley.

Sunday's Aaron's 499 is slated for a 2 p.m. (ET) green flag.

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