JOHN KEKIS,AP Sports Writer
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Marcos Ambrose has won the Sprint Cup pole at Watkins Glen International for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen on Sunday.
It was the third career pole for Ambrose, who has won the past two Cup races at The Glen. He turned a fast lap of 128.281 mph Saturday in the new Gen-6 car to easily eclipse the track record of 127.020 set a year ago by Juan Pablo Montoya.
Clint Bowyer qualified second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger and Kyle Busch as Michael Waltrip Racing placed two in the top three.
Max Papis, subbing for the injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14, qualified 29th. Stewart, who has a Cup-record five wins at Watkins Glen, is sidelined with a broken right leg suffered Monday in a sprint car race in Iowa.
Reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, in the hunt for a berth in the Chase for the championship, will start eighth, while chase contender Kurt Busch qualified 13th.
Hendrick Motorsports struggled as Jimmie Johnson was 18th, Kasey Kahne 19th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 25th and Jeff Gordon 28th.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.