Greg Biffle beat teammate David Ragan by a thousandth of a second to claim his third NASCAR Sprint Cup pole position of the season as Roush Fenway Racing dominated Friday's session at Texas Motor Speedway.
Biffle had edged Chase leader Carl Edwards earlier in practice and was able to later up his speed with a faster lap in qualifying, setting a time of 27.873 seconds at an average speed of 193.736mph, which stands as the fastest pole position of the 2011 season.
His teammate Ragan had been on provisional pole until getting beaten by the slightest margin by Biffle, while Matt Kenseth – the most recent winner at the track – completed a top-three sweep by the team. Edwards got loose while starting his lap and paid the price, finishing seventh fastest.
"It was a great lap," said Biffle. "The car was really fast right off the truck. It's a tribute to my team, how hard they work and how far we've come as a team. We've been fast through practice and it was a pretty uneventful lap. One one-thousandth of a second is not a huge margin to be on pole. It's really exciting that our racecars are that good."
Stewart-Haas Racing's Tony Stewart was fifth behind the fastest Chevrolet of Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard. Michael Waltrip Racing's soon-to-be-departing David Reutimann was the best Toyota in sixth, while Penske's Brad Keselowski was the fastest Dodge in eighth. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson was 11th, with RCR's Kevin Harvick 21st.
Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers, ending the session 13th fastest while David Stremme, David Starr and Reed Sorenson failed to make the field.
Teams will run two practice sessions on Saturday, where they will focus on race preparation for Sunday's 500-mile Chase round.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 27.873s
2. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 27.874s + 0.001s
3. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 27.884s + 0.011s
4. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 27.916s + 0.043s
5. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 27.942s + 0.069s
6. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 27.953s + 0.080s
7. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 27.969s + 0.096s
8. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 27.976s + 0.103s
9. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 27.987s + 0.114s
10. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 27.995s + 0.122s
11. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 27.998s + 0.125s
12. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.006s + 0.133s
13. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.039s + 0.166s
14. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 28.056s + 0.183s
15. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.072s + 0.199s
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 28.106s + 0.233s
17. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.107s + 0.234s
18. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 28.107s + 0.234s
19. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 28.127s + 0.254s
20. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 28.137s + 0.264s
21. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 28.177s + 0.304s
22. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.188s + 0.315s
23. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 28.189s + 0.316s
24. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.210s + 0.337s
25. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.228s + 0.355s
26. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 28.235s + 0.362s
27. JJ Yeley Front Row Ford 28.262s + 0.389s
28. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.273s + 0.400s
29. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 28.326s + 0.453s
30. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 28.356s + 0.483s
31. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.363s + 0.490s
32. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 28.388s + 0.515s
33. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 28.388s + 0.515s
34. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 28.418s + 0.545s
35. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 28.460s + 0.587s
36. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 28.475s + 0.602s
37. Mike Bliss FAS Lane Ford 28.586s + 0.713s
38. Mike Skinner Front Row Ford 28.586s + 0.713s
39. Scott Speed Whitney Ford 28.620s + 0.747s
40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 28.632s + 0.759s
41. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 28.711s + 0.838s
42. Geoffrey Bodine Baldwin Chevrolet 29.646s + 1.773s
43. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 28.643s + 0.770s
Did Not Qualify:
David Stremme Inception Chevrolet 28.669s + 0.796s
David Starr Leavine Ford 28.671s + 0.798s
Reed Sorenson Gordon Dodge 28.849s + 0.976s