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Matt Kenseth, known as a mediocre qualifier, earns pole in Kansas | Auto racing
Matt Kenseth rolled to the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, setting a track qualifying record of 191.864 mph.
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Matt Kenseth did his best Friday to erase his reputation as a poor qualifier.
Kenseth rolled to the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, setting a track qualifying record of 191.864 mph in cold, windy conditions to bump Carl Edwards out of the top spot.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified in third for the STP 400 and Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth. The top four qualifiers surpassed the track record of 191.360 set in October by Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw.
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 11th in qualifying and Kahne was 27th of 43.
"We didn't think we had a chance," Kenseth said. "It's unexpected, and it's one of the fastest tracks of the year."
Kenseth will be starting his 480th Sprint Cup race this weekend, but the 2005 series champion has qualified first a mere nine times.
"I always tried, but now my cars have been faster," he said.
Asked how it felt to be beaten out for the pole by Kenseth, Edwards replied, "The whole field should feel bad."
Joey Logano will start 22nd and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion, will start 33rd. Both drivers arrived at Kansas with their full teams after appealing heavy sanctions handed down by NASCAR for bringing unapproved parts to last weekend's race in Texas.
"I'm thankful there is a process for appeals," Keselowski said, "because obviously we're in an agree-to-disagree stage between Penske Racing and NASCAR and, thankfully, there's a third panel or group to settle those disagreements."
Racing legend Richard Petty said someone in the garage area must have told NASCAR officials about the questionable parts on the Penske cars, and attention drifted to Hendrick Motorsports.
Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson said, "In no way, shape or form did anyone in the 48 car (his team) walk into that truck."
Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer said, "Who cares how you get caught? If you're cheating, it's wrong and you're going to get caught."
• Sean Collier, the MIT police officer who was shot and killed Thursday night in an on-campus confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, is the brother of Hendrick Motorsports machinist Andrew Collier.