3 of 4 drivers eligible for Cup title qualify in top 10; Gordon on Homestead pole

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Nick Bromberg
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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Jeff Gordon won the pole for Sunday's final race of the Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead and Kevin Harvick was the fastest qualifier of the four drivers racing for the Cup title.

Harvick qualified fifth, ahead of Denny Hamlin, who was eighth and Joey Logano, who qualified ninth. All three drivers made the third and final round of qualifying. The fourth driver, Ryan Newman, didn't make it out of the second round and will start 21st.

Harvick may be the favorite for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series title because of his success at Homestead and his speed at 1.5-mile tracks this season. Harvick has made 13 starts at Homestead and has finished outside the top 10 just twice and never outside the top 20. In 10 races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, Harvick has led laps in nine of them.

He also provided the most entertainment of the post-qualifying news conference. Harvick was the final driver into the media center and instead of waiting to take the podium with Newman, Harvick strode up to the stage and sat next to his "buddy" Logano, who responded with a "What's up, friend?"

Harvick and Logano had fun little back-and-forth Wednesday night at the Chase media day.

Hamlin won last year's race at Homestead when he wasn't a member of the Chase after missing time because of a back injury. Hamlin also won in 2009 at Homestead and has five top 10s in nine starts.

If Harvick isn't the favorite, Logano is. Logano has an average finish of 6.5 at 1.5-mile tracks this season and two wins, though his Homestead stats aren't the best. Last year, in his first year at Team Penske, he finished eighth, his best Homestead finish.

Newman has made 12 starts at Homestead. His average finish is 17th, which is where he finished last year in his final race for Stewart-Haas Racing before moving over to Richard Childress Racing in 2014. His best Homestead finish is third, which came in 2012.

Kurt Busch will start alongside Gordon on the front row. Matt Kenseth starts third while Brad Keselowski starts fourth.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!