Matt Kenseth hopes his first pole of the season results in his second win of 2013.
The 41-year-old won on his birthday in Las Vegas, and can repeat that performance Sunday at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
With a blistering 191.864 mph lap, Kenseth paced the rest of the field, with Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Sam Hornish Jr. fractions of a mile behind him.
Kenseth had a much better week than Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. NASCAR officials confiscated parts from both teammates cars. Team owner Roger Penske told the media he didn’t think it was cheating, but rather a “gray area” in the NASCAR rule book.
Each driver lost 25 points, and their crew chiefs and five team members were suspended for six races after officials came up with disconcerting results during a pre-race inspection at Texas last week. About $200,000 in fines were also issued, but Penske said he would appeal.
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The suspensions clearly got into both racers heads. Logano placed No. 22 in the pole and Keselowski will start from the 33rd spot.
The 25-point dock pushed Keselowski down to fourth in the Sprint Cup standings behind current points leader Jimmie Johnson, who also had trouble in the pole at Kansas and will start from the No. 21 position.
Last week’s winner at Texas, Kyle Busch, looks to continue his run from the No. 5 position. In seven starts this year, Busch has two wins and five top five finishes.
The race begins at 1 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast by FOX, and the top 10 in the starting grid can be viewed below.
Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 20
Carl Edwards, Ford, 99
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 17
Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 12
Kyle Busch, Toyota, 18
Aric Almirola, Ford, 43
Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 56
Mark Martin, Toyota, 55
Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 39
Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 15