Jeff Gordon wins pole for final Daytona 500 of his career

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Jeff Gordon will start from the pole in his final Daytona 500 of his career.

Gordon announced last month this will be his final full-time season, and he’s been adamant next Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 will be the last of his career.

The four-time NASCAR champion is a three-time winner of "The Great American Race."

Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson locked down the front row in Sunday’s qualifying session, which was done in knockout rounds for the first time in 57 years.

The qualifying was blasted by most of the drivers. Clint Bowyer called it a "cute show" after he wrecked in the first round. Reigning champion Kevin Harvick grumbled Daytona’s tradition had been ruined, while three-time champion Tony Stewart called it "a complete embarrassment for our series."

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!