TMS Media Relations | Oct 31, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 31, 2014) – Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth won the pole and six of the eight Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship contenders qualified among the top 11 for the AAA Texas 500 during Friday’s Pinnacle Propane Qualifying Days at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) registered a lap of 199.299 miles per hour (27.095 seconds) in the third and final round of knock-out qualifying to narrowly edge fellow Chase contender Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) and his lap of 199.291 mph by 1/1000 of a second. It was Kenseth’s second pole of the season, 13th of his career and first in 25 starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), who will start sixth, established a track qualifying record in the second round as he became the first driver to record a 200-mph qualifying lap at a 1.5-mile track in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. His lap of 200.111 mph easily eclipsed the previous qualifying mark of 198.282 mph set by Kevin Harvick at April’s Duck Commander 500.
The contenders that will join Kenseth and Gordon in the first six rows are Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) starting fifth (198.836 mph), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) seventh (198.500 mph), Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford) 10th (198.071 mph) and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford) in 11th (198.042 mph).
The two contenders that did not fare well in qualifying were Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota), who will start 20th, and Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford), who starts 26th.
Rounding out the top five qualifiers behind Kenseth and Gordon were Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet) third, Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) fourth and Harvick.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the track Saturday for a pair of final practice sessions, the first at 10 a.m. CT and second at 1 p.m.
The AAA Texas 500, the second of three races in the Eliminator 8 Round, will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. The 334-lap, 501-mile race will be broadcast live on ESPN and also available on PRN (nationally) and KRLD-AM 1080 (locally).
Tickets for the AAA Texas 500 are available by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
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