Kenseth Captures Pole for Auto Club 400
FONTANA, Calif. (March 21, 2014) – Matt Kenseth (No. 20, Dollar General Toyota) took the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.438 seconds (187.315 mph) on Friday during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway.
Kenseth, who now has 12 poles in 513 career attempts and had never finished on the pole in 22 races at ACS, edged ahead of Brad Keselowski (No. 2, Wurth Ford) and five-time Fontana winner Jimmie Johnson (No. 48, Lowe’s Spring Is Calling Chevrolet) for the top spot in Sunday’s 400 mile, 200-lap race under NASCAR's new qualifying format.
Kenseth has won three times at Fontana, most recently in 2009
It was the fourth consecutive front-row start for Keselowski, who won in Las Vegas two weeks ago.
Kevin Harvick (No. 4, Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) was fourth followed by Clint Bowyer (No. 15, PEAK Toyota), Jeff Gordon (No. 24, Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) and Joey Logano (No. 22, AAA Southern California Ford).
Just one year ago, Logano was involved in a remarkable finish at the ACS before crashing with Denny Hamlin (No. 11, FedEx Express Toyota) on the final lap. Hamlin finished 13th on Friday.
The rest of the top 12 included Marcos Ambrose (No. 9, DeWalt Ford), Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford), Tony Stewart (No. 14, Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42, Target Chevrolet) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet). Larson (11th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Defending race champion Kyle Busch (No. 18, Interstate Batteries Toyota), who earlier in the day was enshrined in the Walk of Fame, was 14th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88, National Guard Chevrolet) was 15th.
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About Auto Club Speedway: Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, California, Auto Club Speedway is California’s premier motorsports facility, hosting over 320 days of track activity each year including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend in March and the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships Finale weekend in August. The two-mile D-shaped oval is one of the fastest tracks on the INDYCAR and NASCAR circuits. The Speedway is also home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. For more information on events at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com. For information on event lodging, visit the Hilton Garden Inn, Fontana, the official hotel partner of Auto Club Speedway and Auto Club Dragway.