David Ragan won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Texas by leading a Roush Fenway front row sweep ahead of Carl Edwards.
Ragan bumped Edwards from pole after running last in the order to complete his qualifying lap, having set the fastest practice time on Thursday afternoon. On his flying lap he was able to run nearly two tenths of a second faster than his team-mate's benchmark, setting a time of 28.448 seconds, at an average speed of 189.820 mph.
"I don't know how we pulled that off but it was really fast," said Ragan who is still looking for his first victory in what will be his 153rd Cup race driving a Roush Ford Fusion. "I have to give credit to our team and [crew chief] Drew Blickensderfer who made a gutsy call. "We made our last qualifying run in practice and we decided to change the car up a little bit. It stuck and did what it needed to do. I really like this place, it is a fun place to come and it is cool to get a pole here. Hopefully we can turn that into a good run tomorrow."
Edwards, a three-time winner at Texas, starts Saturday night's race as a clear favorite along with his teammates, all having shown great consistency in race trim during practice. Behind him the Richard Childress Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer was third, ahead of a third Roush Ford of Matt Kenseth while Regan Smith continued to impress with his fifth top-five start in seven races this season.
"We are fast in practice and have three of the top four in qualifying that are Fords," said Edwards. "We are as good now on the 1.5 miles, almost as good as we were in 2005 when we were lights out and won 15 total races or something like that. We are close to that form again and that is good."
Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) was sixth, ahead of Richard Petty's Marcos Ambrose and the fastest Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano. Greg Biffle's ninth place locked all Roush cars in the top 10, while last year's Texas winner Denny Hamlin was only 23rd.
Michael McDowell was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 20th. Travis Kvapil failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 28.448s
2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.644s + 0.196s
3. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 28.688s + 0.240s
4. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 28.693s + 0.245s
5. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.731s + 0.283s
6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.760s + 0.312s
7. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.776s + 0.328s
8. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.787s + 0.339s
9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.792s + 0.344s
10. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 28.815s + 0.367s
11. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.820s + 0.372s
12. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.823s + 0.375s
13. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 28.841s + 0.393s
14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.850s + 0.402s
15. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 28.850s + 0.402s
16. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s
17. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s
18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.874s + 0.426s
19. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.893s + 0.445s
20. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 28.902s + 0.454s
21. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 28.905s + 0.457s
22. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 28.933s + 0.485s
23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.949s + 0.501s
24. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 28.956s + 0.508s
25. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 28.969s + 0.521s
26. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.976s + 0.528s
27. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 29.041s + 0.593s
28. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 29.042s + 0.594s
29. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 29.045s + 0.597s
30. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 29.052s + 0.604s
31. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 29.068s + 0.620s
32. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.098s + 0.650s
33. David Starr Leavine Fenton Ford 29.098s + 0.650s
34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 29.108s + 0.660s
35. JJ Yeley Whitney Chevrolet 29.143s + 0.695s
36. Mike Skinner Germain Toyota 29.170s + 0.722s
37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 29.198s + 0.750s
38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 29.325s + 0.877s
39. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 29.409s + 0.961s
40. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 29.462s + 1.014s
41. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 29.772s + 1.324s
42. Tony Raines Front Row Ford 30.147s + 1.699s
43. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 29.383s + 0.935s
Did not qualify:
Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 29.446s + 0.998s