KANSAS CITY, Kan. The odds werent with Matt Kenseth winning the pole for Sundays STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.
But the Toyota-driving Kenseth did so anyway, with a track record of 191.864 mph to boot. He edged Fords of Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards (191.748) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (191.734) for the top spot. It was just Kenseths ninth career poll in 480 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
But this is Kenseths fifth pole in the past two seasons; he had four during his first 11 years on the circuit.
Id always tried in qualifying, but starting 20th never seemed like a big deal, especially if you could start passing people to get up (to the lead), Kenseth said. I always have wanted to qualify closer to how I was going to race.
Edwards and Stenhouse joined Kenseth in having three of the fastest times ever posted at Kansas. There were various possible reasons for all the speed: the new Gen 6 cars running for a first time at Kansas, the relatively new surface on the track (it was re-surfaced before last falls race) and the cool, cloudy conditions.
Points leader Jimmie Johnson will start 21st, while Kyle Busch, last weeks winner at Texas, starts fifth. Jeff Gordon hit the wall during his qualifying run and will start at the rear of the field.
Kenseth, who is now with Joe Gibbs Racing, won last falls race at Kansas while driving for Roush Fenway. Now hes on the pole at the next race at the track, ahead of two drivers on his old team.
Thats kind of cool, said Kenseth.
Points leader Johnny Sauter leads the field into Saturdays SFP 250 truck series race at Kansas. Qualifying for the 2 p.m. race is at 11:05 a.m. Saturday. Sauter has won two of the seasons three races at Daytona and Martinsville and leads Jeb Burton by 16 points. Kyle Larson won last week at Rockingham.
STP 400 Lineup
|3.||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..||Ford||191.734|
|4.||12||Sam Hornish, Jr..||Ford||191.401|
|7.||56||Martin Truex, Jr..||Toyota||190.651|
|19.||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevy||188.758|
|23.||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr..||Chevy||188.311|