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Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Richmond pole

Updated: September 7, 2012, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's a Hendrick Motorsports front row at Richmond International Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on the pole for Saturday night's "regular-season" finale, turning a lap of 127.023 mph in his Chevrolet to bump teammate Jeff Gordon from the top starting spot.

"I was as surprised as anybody," said Earnhardt, who won the 11th pole of his career. "It feels good. I've not really been the best of qualifiers the last couple of years. We have a lot of improvements we've made ...

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