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Kenseth On Pole In Charlotte

| , RacinToday.com Friday, October 9 2015
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will start from the front row in Charlotte on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will start from the front row in Charlotte on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

Matt Kenseth won the pole for this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver laid down a lap in 27.759 seconds (194.532 mph) for the first race in the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Kenseth was .198 seconds quicker than teammate Kyle Busch (193.154 mph).

The pole was Kenseth’s fourth this year—a personal best for a single season—his second at Charlotte and the 17th of his career.

“It was a heck of a lap,” Kenseth said. “I knew I had a lot of speed. I kind of changed it up in (Turns) 1 and 2 a little bit, and I just got a little tight in the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4. I knew the car was fast. Our Dollar General Camry has been fast all day, and it was a lot of fun to drive.

“I knew it was going to be real fast. I didn’t know we were going to sit on the pole by any means, but it had the feel and everything that I wanted. It’s funny, this place, if you can get it to drive just like you want, you can really perform well here, but it’s so hard to get that feel…

“But today he (crew chief Jason Ratcliff) got it to drive that way. I was going to have to mess it up to not get it, as good as he had it there.”

Chase drivers grabbed nine of the top 12 positions on the grid, with Biffle, Jimmie Johnson (seventh) and Aric Almirola (ninth) the only non-Chase drivers able to advance to the final round of knockout qualifying.

Busch, who fought his way back into the Chase with a second-place finish last Sunday at Dover, was pleased with his effort in time trials.

“I don’t know—Matt Kenseth, he was better than me, that’s for sure,” Busch said. “He got more out of it than me, but our pink M&M’s Camry is awesome. We were able to post some good speed there. I’m real happy with it… and I’m looking forward to the race on Saturday night.”

All 12 Chase contenders advanced through the first round, but Brad Keselowski (13th), Martin Truex Jr. (15th) and Jeff Gordon (22nd) weren’t fast enough to make the final elimination session, which is restricted to the top 12.

Sweeping the front row also might send a message to the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing team, whose driver, Kevin Harvick, has had super fast cars – though some bad luck – in the Chase.

Asked about if his fast car was a response to that, Kenseth said,  “No, it’s what we try to do every week, it’s what everybody tries to do every week so no, no different. We didn’t get to qualify last week so I don’t know how we would have qualified, but I didn’t think we raced bad. I didn’t think we were as good as we should have been for Dover. We tried some different stuff on pit strategy, but probably maybe still had a fifth or sixth place car and finished seventh with it. Kyle (Busch) ran second and he was the second best car all day. We didn’t run bad last week, we know we need to be a little bit better. Kevin (Harvick) certainly dominated at Dover and definitely dominated New Hampshire as well. We’re still working on our stuff to try to get it faster. We realize our competition is going to keep getting better and we have to be able to do that as well.”


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Bank of America 500

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Concord, North Carolina

Thursday, October 08, 2015

  1. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 194.532 mph.
  2. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 193.154 mph.
  3. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 193.023 mph.
  4. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 192.947 mph.
  5. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 192.912 mph.
  6. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 192.610 mph.
  7. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 192.507 mph.
  8. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 192.438 mph.
  9. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 192.226 mph.
  10. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 192.041 mph.
  11. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 191.415 mph.
  12. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 190.624 mph.
  13. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 191.618 mph.
  14. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 191.605 mph.
  15. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 191.056 mph.
  16. (21)  Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 191.056 mph.
  17. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 190.907 mph.
  18. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 190.819 mph.
  19. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 190.483 mph.
  20. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 190.436 mph.
  21. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 190.382 mph.
  22. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 189.947 mph.
  23. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 189.640 mph.
  24. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 188.607 mph.
  25. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 189.900 mph.
  26. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 189.813 mph.
  27. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 189.221 mph.
  28. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 188.640 mph.
  29. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, 188.521 mph.
  30. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 188.501 mph.
  31. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 187.833 mph.
  32. (95)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 187.337 mph.
  33. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 187.246 mph.
  34. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 187.220 mph.
  35. (26)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 187.214 mph.
  36. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 186.754 mph.
  37. (34)  Brett Moffitt #, Ford, Owner Points
  38. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  39. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, Owner Points
  40. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, Owner Points
  41. (23)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, Owner Points
  42. (98)  Reed Sorenson, Ford, Owner Points
  43. (33)  Alex Kennedy #, Chevrolet, Owner Points

2 drivers failed to qualify.

  1. (32)  Josh Wise, Ford, 185.236 mph.
  2. (62)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 183.411 mph.


| , RacinToday.com Friday, October 9 2015
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