Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Matt Kenseth won the pole for the STP 400
after topping his former Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards in Friday's
qualifying at Kansas Speedway.
Kenseth, who is in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing after driving for
Roush Fenway the past 13 years, set a new track qualifying at Kansas with a
lap at 191.864 mph. He was the second-to-last driver in the 44-car qualifying
order. Kenseth earned his ninth career Sprint Cup Series pole but his first
since last July at Daytona (25 races ago). It's also his second pole at this
1.5-mile racetrack, with his first one here coming in 2005.
Since the debut of NASCAR's new Sprint Cup race car, the Gen-6, at the start
of this season, the track qualifying record has been broken at Bristol,
Martinsville, Texas and Kansas.
Kenseth won the most recent Sprint Cup race at Kansas last October. It was the
first time the series competed on the track's new pavement and reconfiguration
of the turns.
Edwards, who hails from nearby Columbia, Mo., turned a lap at 191.748 mph
moments before Kenseth made his run. Edwards' lap was just 0.002 seconds
quicker than his teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who is a rookie in the series
Sam Hornish Jr., who is making his first Sprint Cup start this season,
qualified fourth, while Kyle Busch, last weekend's race winner at Texas, took
the fifth spot.
Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr., Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer, an
Emporia, Kan. native, completed the top-10.
Jeff Gordon will have to start from the rear of the field in his backup car
for Sunday's 400-mile race after he crashed during his qualifying attempt.
Gordon, a two-time Kansas race winner, got loose and spun around before
backing it into the outside wall in turn 2 during his first lap.
Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion, qualified 33rd, while his
Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, was 22nd. Keselowski and Logano's teams
received severe penalties from NASCAR earlier this week after their cars
failed pre-race inspection at Texas. Officials confiscated the rear-end
housing and other parts on Keselowski's No. 2 and Logano's No. 22.
Danica Patrick's 25th-place finish was her best qualifying run since winning
the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500 two months ago. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
will start 23rd.
Sunday's race at Kansas is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.
The Sports Network