Matt Kenseth scored the pole in qualifying for Saturday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. The current Daytona 500 winner is looking to be the first driver to sweep races there in the same NASCAR Cup season since 1982.
Kenseth ran at an average speed of 192.386 mph on his second flying lap, a pace that would remain unbeaten after the remaining 13 drivers completed their qualifying attempts. His pole is the second of the season for Roush at Daytona, as the leading Ford team swept the front row for the season opener with Carl Edwards on pole at the Daytona 500.
The blue oval brand is actually on a streak of three consecutive Daytona wins following Trevor Bayne's maiden win in the 500 and David Ragan's victory a year ago.
"It does feel good but I really didn't have to do a lot with it," said Kenseth about his pole-setting lap. "It's all these guys staying behind me and everybody at Roush Fenway Racing that prepares these really fast cars, specially Doug Yates giving us the power, so it's all about getting the car right and having a big motor to run those two laps. Can't wait for tomorrow night."
Reigning champion Tony Stewart had qualified second beside Kenseth but his time was disallowed due to an open cooling hose in the cockpit, promoting his Stewart-Haas team-mate Ryan Newman to the front row ahead of Hendrick Motorsports' Kasey Kahne, Roush's Greg Biffle and Hendrick's Jeff Gordon.
The Penske Racing Dodges of AJ Allmendinger and Brad Keselowski - winner of the last restrictor plate race at Talladega - were both among the top 10 in qualifying. The best Toyota of Michael Waltrip Racing's Martin Truex Jr was only 19th fastest at the end of the session.
Bill Elliott qualified seventh as Turner Motorsports makes its Sprint Cup debut. Turner won the Nationwide race at Daytona in February with James Buescher driving. Last week's Kentucky winner Brad Keselowski qualified tenth.
Only Robert Richardson Jr. failed to qualify for the 43-car field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 46.781s
2. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 46.789s + 0.008s
3. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 46.804s + 0.023s
4. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 46.841s + 0.060s
5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 46.860s + 0.079s
6. Bill Elliott Turner Chevrolet 46.872s + 0.091s
7. Casey Mears Germain Ford 46.891s + 0.110s
8. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 46.901s + 0.120s
9. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 46.910s + 0.129s
10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 46.918s + 0.137s
11. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 46.924s + 0.143s
12. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 46.946s + 0.165s
13. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 46.953s + 0.172s
14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 46.978s + 0.197s
15. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 46.998s + 0.217s
16. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 47.003s + 0.222s
17. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 47.054s + 0.273s
18. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 47.060s + 0.279s
19. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 47.064s + 0.283s
20. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 47.097s + 0.316s
21. Mike Bliss Parsons Ford 47.124s + 0.343s
22. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 47.134s + 0.353s
23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 47.140s + 0.359s
24. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 47.158s + 0.377s
25. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 47.190s + 0.409s
26. David Stremme Inception Toyota 47.203s + 0.422s
27. David Ragan Front Row Ford 47.215s + 0.434s
28. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 47.220s + 0.439s
29. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 47.230s + 0.449s
30. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 47.231s + 0.450s
31. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 47.325s + 0.544s
32. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 47.335s + 0.554s
33. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 47.339s + 0.558s
34. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 47.357s + 0.576s
35. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 47.370s + 0.589s
36. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 47.450s + 0.669s
37. Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 47.690s + 0.909s
38. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 47.699s + 0.918s
39. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 47.733s + 0.952s
40. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 47.888s + 1.107s
41. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 48.256s + 1.475s
42. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
43. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 48.123s + 1.342s
Did not qualify:
Robert Richardson Jr R3 Toyota 48.171s + 1.390s