At the end of the Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, it’d be NASCAR Chase for the Championship Contender Matt Kenseth scoring the pole with a lap of 27.095 seconds in his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota. It marks Kenseth’s 13th career pole and his second pole of the 2014 season.
Kenseth is looking to be one of the four drivers that move on from the Eliminator Round to the Final Round of the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway over the course of the next two weeks. Kenseth could either lock himself in by winning this weekend at Texas, or winning next weekend at Phoenix. His other option is to be one of the two or more drivers that make it based on points. Kenseth has started off this round well, following an eighth place finish at Martinsville Speedway.
Another driver hoping that he can move forward is Jeff Gordon, as he finished second last weekend and will start second on Sunday after missing the pole by 0.001 seconds. It marks the 22nd top 10 start of the season of the driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Harvick’s only shot moving forward is to win either this weekend or next weekend following a poor finish at Martinsville due to contact with Kenseth.
Tony Stewart qualified sixth after setting a new track qualifying record in the second round, with a speed of 200.111 mph, breaking the previous record set by Harvick. Championship contender Ryan Newman qualified seventh, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. Championship contenders Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top 11, with last week’s race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 12th.
Brad Keselowski wouldn’t have the session that he wanted, qualifying 26th as he looks to bounce back following transmission trouble at Martinsville.