Matt Kenseth beats odds, wins pole at Kansas Speedway

STP 400

Friday, Apr. 19, 2013

The odds weren’t with Matt Kenseth winning the pole for Sunday’s 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 Kenseth’s ninth career poll in 480 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.

But this is Kenseth’s fifth pole in the past two seasons; he had four during his first 11 years on the circuit.

“I’d 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 fall’s race) and the cool, cloudy conditions.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson will start 21st, while Kyle Busch, last week’s 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 fall’s race at Kansas while driving for Roush Fenway. Now he’s on the pole at the next race at the track, ahead of two drivers on his old team.

“That’s kind of cool,” said Kenseth.


Points leader Johnny Sauter leads the field into Saturday’s 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 season’s three races – at Daytona and Martinsville – and leads Jeb Burton by 16 points. Kyle Larson won last week at Rockingham.

STP 400 Lineup

1.20Matt KensethToyota191.864
2.99Carl EdwardsFord191.748
3.17Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..Ford191.734
4.12Sam Hornish, Jr..Ford191.401
5.18Kyle BuschToyota190.853
6.43Aric AlmirolaFord190.779
7.56Martin Truex, Jr..Toyota190.651
8.55Mark MartinToyota190.282
9.39Ryan NewmanChevy190.221
10.15Clint BowyerToyota190.134
11.16Greg BiffleFord190.067
12.27Paul MenardChevy189.78
13.78Kurt BuschChevy189.534
14.1Jamie McMurrayChevy189.221
15.9Marcos AmbroseFord189.195
16.11Brian VickersToyota189.182
17.29Kevin HarvickChevy189.155
18.14Tony StewartChevy189.023
19.42Juan Pablo MontoyaChevy188.758
20.31Jeff BurtonChevy188.679
21.48Jimmie JohnsonChevy188.442
22.22Joey LoganoFord188.317
23.88Dale Earnhardt, Jr..Chevy188.311
24.81Elliott SadlerToyota187.996
25.10Danica PatrickChevy187.774
26.34David RaganFord187.441
27.5Kasey KahneChevy187.37
28.38David GillilandFord187.279
29.98Michael McDowellFord187.272
30.13Casey MearsFord186.922
31.83David ReutimannToyota186.909
32.93Travis KvapilToyota186.728
33.2Brad KeselowskiFord186.657
34.47Bobby LabonteToyota186.561
35.19Mike BlissToyota186.528
36.35Josh WiseFord186.419
37.32Timmy HillFordOwnerPoints
38.30David StremmeToyotaOwnerPoints
39.33Landon CassillChevyOwnerPoints
40.36J.J. YeleyChevyOwnerPoints
41.51Regan SmithChevyOwnerPoints
42.7Dave BlaneyChevyOwnerPoints
43.24Jeff GordonChevyOwnerPoints