Joe Gibbs Racing responded to a week of bad penalty and injury news by taking a front row sweep for Saturday night's Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Matt Kenseth claimed the pole position with a track record lap of 20.716 seconds. He won at Kansas Speedway last week, but was heavily penalized for an engine irregularity after the race. The team is appealing.
Gibbs' second blow of the week was confirmation that the injured Denny Hamlin would not be fit for the early return he had hoped to make at Richmond. But Hamlin's stand-in Brian Vickers demonstrated his pace in qualifying by taking second, 0.005sec down on Kenseth.
The all-Joe Gibbs Toyota front row is followed by an all-Hendrick Chevrolet row two, on which Jeff Gordon leads Kasey Kahne.
Having been rapid in practice and been one of the few front-runners to draw a favorable late position in the qualifying running order, Gordon was strongly tipped for pole. Ultimately he was 0.013sec down on Kenseth.
Early provisional polesitter Clint Bowyer ended up fifth, ahead of an improved performance from Juan Pablo Montoya in sixth.
Championship leader Jimmie Johnson could only manage 26th place.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 20.716s
2. Brian Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota 20.721s + 0.005s
3. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 20.729s + 0.013s
4. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 20.740s + 0.024s
5. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 20.744s + 0.028s
6. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 20.793s + 0.077s
7. Joey Logano Penske Ford 20.808s + 0.092s
8. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 20.828s + 0.112s
9. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 20.834s + 0.118s
10. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 20.837s + 0.121s
11. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 20.839s + 0.123s
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 20.841s + 0.125s
13. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 20.844s + 0.128s
14. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 20.862s + 0.146s
15. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 20.868s + 0.152s
16. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 20.870s + 0.154s
17. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 20.871s + 0.155s
18. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 20.883s + 0.167s
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 20.900s + 0.184s
20. David Ragan Front Row Ford 20.904s + 0.188s
21. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 20.912s + 0.196s
22. David Reutimann BK Toyota 20.912s + 0.196s
23. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 20.925s + 0.209s
24. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 20.944s + 0.228s
25. David Stremme Swan Toyota 20.961s + 0.245s
26. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 20.966s + 0.250s
27. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 20.972s + 0.256s
28. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 20.975s + 0.259s
29. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 20.976s + 0.260s
30. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 20.979s + 0.263s
31. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 20.982s + 0.266s
32. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 20.994s + 0.278s
33. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 21.009s + 0.293s
34. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 21.036s + 0.320s
35. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 21.085s + 0.369s
36. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 21.101s + 0.385s
37. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 21.113s + 0.397s
38. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 21.179s + 0.463s
39. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 21.336s + 0.620s
40. Casey Mears Germain Ford 21.360s + 0.644s
41. Joe Nemechek NEMCO-JRR Toyota 21.448s + 0.732s
42. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 21.481s + 0.765s
43. Brian Keselowski Keselowski Toyota 21.818s + 1.102s