Kenseth secures Texas pole as record falls

Kenseth scores the pole in Texas

Kenseth will start from pole in Texas

Matt Kenseth scored the pole for the AAA Texas 500, but it was Tony Stewart’s 200 mile per hour lap that grabbed the headlines.

Kenseth powered his Toyota to a 199.299 mph (320.741km/h) lap in the final round of qualifying for the eighth of 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

It’s his second pole of the season, 13th of his Sprint Cup career and first on the 1.5-mile track in the heart of the Lone Star State.

”That was probably the right time for us to go,” said Kenseth about the timing of his run in the final segment.

”I don’t know how much difference it made or if it made any difference, but it seemed like a good time.”

Another one of the eight championship contenders, Jeff Gordon, was second-fastest. His speed was just one-thousandth of a second slower than Kenseth’s fast time.

Jimmie Johnson was third-fastest, followed by Stewart-Haas Racing stablemates Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

The early evening qualifying session featured fast speeds, including the fastest official laps in the sport’s history on a 1.5-mile track. Tony Stewart led the charge in the second of three qualifying segments with a stunning 200.111 mph (322.047km/h) lap, just under the 27-second mark.

”To be able to say we’re the first guy on a mile a half to run 200, that’s pretty cool I think,” said Stewart

”Of course we were trying for the pole, but I missed the corner a little bit.”

The lap was significantly faster than the track record of 198.282 mph (319.104km/h) that Harvick registered in the first leg of knockout qualifying at the Fort Worth track in April.

Making his third last start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series before returning to Australia, Marcos Ambrose will start from 16th.

“These are fast lap times and you really need a perfect lap,” said Ambrose.

“We were really consistent. We were 17th in the first round and ended up 16th. The car has good speed. We lost some grip, but the DeWalt Ford isn’t bad.”

VIDEO: Kenseth speaks after qualifying

QUALIFYING:  AAA Texas 500 – Texas Motor Speedway

 
POS. CAR DRIVER MANUFACTURER SPONSOR MPH BEST TIME BEHIND
1 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General 199.299 27.095 Leader
2 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger 199.291 27.096 –0.001
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Red Vest 198.983 27.138 –0.043
4 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation 198.910 27.148 –0.053
5 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser 198.836 27.158 –0.063
6 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 198.508 27.203 –0.108
7 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar 198.500 27.204 –0.109
8 78 Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row 198.398 27.218 –0.123
9 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 198.333 27.227 –0.132
10 22 Joey Logano AAA Insurance 198.071 27.263 –0.168
11 99 Carl Edwards Aflac 198.042 27.267 –0.172
12 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Diet Mountain Dew 197.744 27.308 –0.213
13 55 Brian Vickers Aaron’s Dream Machine 198.646 27.184 –0.089
14 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips 198.632 27.186 –0.091
15 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards 198.515 27.202 –0.107
16 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt 198.493 27.205 –0.110
17 42 Kyle Larson Target 198.354 27.224 –0.129
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr EcoPower Oil Fusion 198.311 27.230 –0.135
19 16 Greg Biffle Ortho Fire Ant Killer Fusion 198.129 27.255 –0.160
20 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office 197.773 27.304 –0.209
21 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s 197.751 27.307 –0.212
22 43 Aric Almirola Farmland 197.477 27.345 –0.250
23 47 AJ Allmendinger Clorox 197.087 27.399 –0.304
24 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy 196.707 27.452 –0.357
25 21 Trevor Bayne Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 197.571 27.332 –0.237
26 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite 197.181 27.386 –0.291
27 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy 196.822 27.436 –0.341
28 95 Michael McDowell Tommy Williams Drywall 196.685 27.455 –0.360
29 3 Austin Dillon Dow Energy & Water 196.635 27.462 –0.367
30 51 Justin Allgaier Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau 196.385 27.497 –0.402
31 38 David Gilliland Love’s Travel Stops 196.364 27.500 –0.405
32 36 Reed Sorenson Accell Construction 195.986 27.553 –0.458
33 7 Michael Annett Cypress HQ Chevrolet 195.751 27.586 –0.491
34 40 Landon Cassill TBA 195.744 27.587 –0.492
35 23 Alex Bowman Dr. Pepper 195.659 27.599 –0.504
36 98 Josh Wise Provident Metals 195.503 27.621 –0.526
37 34 David Ragan Dockside Logistics 195.447 27.629 –0.534
38 13 Casey Mears No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 195.390 27.637 –0.542
39 83 J.J. Yeley Zak Products 194.098 27.821 –0.726
40 26 Cole Whitt Speed Stick GEAR 192.871 27.998 –0.903
41 66 Brett Moffitt Vydox 192.768 28.013 –0.918
42 33 Timmy Hill Little Joe’s Autos Chevrolet 192.075 28.114 –1.019
43 32 Joey Gase 24/7 E-Cigs 189.633 28.476 –1.381

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