Greg Biffle claimed his second pole position of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season at Kansas to lead an all-Roush Fenway Ford front row for Sunday's fourth round of the Chase, beside Carl Edwards.
Two-time Kansas winner Biffle beat the benchmark set earlier by Edwards by 56 thousandths of a second with a lap of 30.877 seconds, at an average speed of 174.887mph. Underlining the strength of the Roush Fenway Fords, Matt Kenseth secured a place on the second row of the grid, beside the fastest Toyota of fellow title contender Kyle Busch.
"Today was a very trying day, we were 35th this morning when we unloaded from the truck," said Biffle after claiming his team's eighth pole of the season, more than any other Cup squad has managed thus far.
"We had a lot of work to do and I'm really proud of my team to come back and put it on pole here. That says a lot for a team and that's what a championship team is made of, somebody that can turn the day around and we definitely did that today."
Edwards, who joins Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick at the top of the Chase standings, beat the rest of the title contenders on a flying lap, while most of them made it into the top-15 of the grid for Sunday's race. However, the Roush driver did not get carried away by his result, as the field faces two more practice sessions on Saturday in order to work on race trim.
"Qualifying here is not indicative of how you are going to run the race," said Edwards. "Hopefully our qualifying effort translates into a good race but we have to focus really hard on race trim tomorrow. The race is a long one and you can pass here. It really matters how fast your car is in race trim."
Kasey Kahne kept the momentum rolling for Red Bull after his fourth place at Dover with fifth on the grid for Sunday, ahead of RCR's Paul Menard, who had been fastest in practice earlier.
Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson did not enjoy a great run and ended up 19th fastest, while Tony Stewart had yet another lackluster qualifying effort which left him 23rd in the grid.
Scott Speed, who became a father this week, enjoyed his best qualifying since returning to Cup full time, finishing 25th fastest as the best of the non-guaranteed drivers. Right behind him RCR's Austin Dillon, who leads the Truck Series points standings, qualified solidly for his Cup debut in 26th.
David Starr, Josh Wise and Mike Skinner failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 30.877s
2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 30.933s + 0.056s
3. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 30.955s + 0.078s
4. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 30.957s + 0.080s
5. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 30.961s + 0.084s
6. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 30.978s + 0.101s
7. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 30.995s + 0.118s
8. Martin Truex Jr. Waltrip Toyota 31.012s + 0.135s
9. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 31.018s + 0.141s
10. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 31.026s + 0.149s
11. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 31.029s + 0.152s
12. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 31.031s + 0.154s
13. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 31.059s + 0.182s
14. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 31.103s + 0.226s
15. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 31.105s + 0.228s
16. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 31.119s + 0.242s
17. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 31.155s + 0.278s
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Chevrolet 31.171s + 0.294s
19. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 31.181s + 0.304s
20. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 31.183s + 0.306s
21. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 31.202s + 0.325s
22. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 31.224s + 0.347s
23. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 31.226s + 0.349s
24. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 31.234s + 0.357s
25. Scott Speed Whitney Ford 31.238s + 0.361s
26. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 31.264s + 0.387s
27. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 31.285s + 0.408s
28. JJ Yeley Front Row Ford 31.292s + 0.415s
29. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 31.298s + 0.421s
30. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 31.317s + 0.440s
31. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 31.323s + 0.446s
32. David Stremme Inception Chevrolet 31.363s + 0.486s
33. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 31.366s + 0.489s
34. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 31.407s + 0.530s
35. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 31.421s + 0.544s
36. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 31.483s + 0.606s
37. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 31.500s + 0.623s
38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 31.581s + 0.704s
39. Reed Sorenson Gordon Dodge 31.609s + 0.732s
40. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 31.666s + 0.789s
41. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 31.675s + 0.798s
42. Mike Bliss FAS Lane Ford 31.740s + 0.863s
43. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 31.737s + 0.860s
Did not qualify:
David Starr Leavine Ford 31.752s + 0.875s
Josh Wise Max Q Ford 31.837s + 0.960s
Mike Skinner Germain Toyota 31.969s + 1.092s