Joey Logano will also start from the front row in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 RELATED: Full starting lineup " See all 43 cars CONCORD, N.C. – After powering to his second pole of the season on Thursday night, Matt Kenseth will start NASCAR's longest race from the most advantageous position—with his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota getting serviced in the most advantageous pit stall. Kenseth ran his fastest lap of the night (194.252 mph) in the third and final round of knockout qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway and secured the top spot on the grid for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM), the 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. The Coors Light Pole Award was Kenseth's first at Charlotte and the 15th of his career. Kenseth , who covered the 1.5-mile distance in 27.799 seconds, was a whopping .204 seconds faster than Joey Logano (192.836 mph), whose No. 22 Team Penske Ford will start beside Kenseth's Camry on the front row. "I think starting up front is important at this track," Kenseth said. "It typically goes through a lot of changes here, especially if the sun is out for the beginning of the race. You want to have good track position, good pit selection—all those things—so if you get a little bit off and you're chasing the setup, or the track changes, you have a little bit of a buffer being toward the front, hopefully... "All the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas had some speed tonight, and that was encouraging." SHOP: Kenseth gear Carl Edwards (192.733 mph) was third in his No. 19 JGR Toyota, followed by Greg Biffle in his No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford (192.226 mph) and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner Denny Hamlin in his No. 11 JGR Toyota (192.007 mph). Surprisingly, in consecutive seasons that have seen domination of the intermediate speedways by the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet of reigning series champion Kevin Harvick and the No. 48 Chevy of six-time champ Jimmie Johnson , Toyotas and Fords claimed the top seven qualifying positions for the 600. To Logano, however, the absence of a Chevrolet from the top five spots on the grid for the first time this season isn't hugely significant. "Those guys have been fast in the race—that's where their speed really shines," Logano said. "They qualify good--don't get me wrong—but in the race they shine a little bit more. You're talking about the 4, the 41 ( Kurt Busch ) and the 48. Those are the ones that stand out. "And I'm sure they'll be fast when it comes to race time. Qualifying's a different animal. You use a completely different setup, and qualifying can kind of mask over some issues you have in race trim a lot of times. ... I wouldn't (read) too much into it." Notes: All four Hendrick Motorsports entries failed to advance to the final round of knockout qualifying, but Kasey Kahne had a valid excuse. A cut tire prevented him from posting a quick qualifying laps. As a result, the three-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 will start 33rd on Sunday ... Jeb Burton , Mike Bliss , Travis Kvapil , Jeff Green and Brendan Gaughan failed to make the 43-car field. The 48-car turnout for qualifying was the largest since 49 entries showed up for the season-opening Daytona 500 .
Matt Kenseth gets loose on Lap 129 at Kansas Speedway, causing a chain reaction that leaves Tony Stewart with significant damage.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver edges Truex in Monster Mile qualifying RELATED: Full qualifying results Denny Hamlin rolled to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Dover International Speedway . Hamlin drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a fast lap of 160.121 mph on the 1-mile concrete oval. He'll start first in Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The pole position was Hamlin's first of the season, third at the Monster Mile and 21st of his Sprint Cup career. The pole-winning lap was significantly slower than the track qualifying record of 164.444 mph set by Brad Keselowski in May. "It's great," said Hamlin, who also won the Dover pole in September 2012 and May 2013. "Obviously our car's shown speed all day long, which is something that we haven't had lately, so we're kind of building and getting a little bit better and starting to figure out our setups and whatnot. So we're getting better and obviously this kind of shows it." Martin Truex Jr ., second in the Sprint Cup standings, will share Sunday's front row in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet after notching the second-fastest lap at 159.723 mph. Kyle Larson , Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano completed the top five. Defending Sprint Cup champion and current points leader Kevin Harvick qualified sixth-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Kyle Busch , making just his second start of the season in points-paying races since returning from serious leg injuries in a February crash at Daytona, earned the 10th starting spot in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. Some big names were left out of later qualifying rounds at the two elimination stages in the three-round format. Jimmie Johnson , a nine-time Dover winner in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet, was among them. After leading opening Sprint Cup practice earlier in the day, he posted just the 14th-fastest lap in Round 2, failing to make the final cut to determine the top 12 starters. "I think, in a sense, we maybe didn't make the changes we need to or thought we needed to change, because the car had so much speed in that first practice session, but it's a totally different race track," Johnson said. "And we tried to plan ahead and made some small changes, but it wasn't enough." Kurt Busch was also in that unfortunate group, making just the 13th-best lap to miss the cut for the final, five-minute round. Keselowski was the final driver to make the cut after Round 1, edging Kasey Kahne by .005 seconds for the 24th spot. The Team Penske driver ended up qualifying 19th. Three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart also just missed the cut, posting the 26th-fastest lap. Jeff Green and Travis Kvapil failed to qualify for the 43-car field. Sprint Cup drivers will have their final chance to tune up for Sunday's 400-miler in a pair of practice sessions Saturday (10-10:55 a.m. ET and 1-1:55 p.m. ET, FS1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) RELATED: Starting lineup Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) and earned the first pick of pit stall. He'll pit his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry in the No. 1 stall at the exit of pit road. New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr . was second-fastest at his home track in his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet and had the second pit pick. He chose the 10th stall, the first box with an opening in front of him. Kyle Larson was third in qualifying and picked the 43rd stall at the entrance to pit road to put his Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 42 Chevrolet. Seven stalls in front of him will be the fourth-fastest qualifier, Matt Kenseth , who will pit his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the 36th stall. Joey Logano was the fastest Ford in fifth, and he'll pit his No. 22 Team Penske ride in the ninth stall with an opening behind him. Points leader and reigning champion Kevin Harvick was sixth-fastest and chose the 41st stall while Greg Biffle was seventh in qualifying and selected the 17th stall with an opening in front of him for his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Biffle's teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., qualified ninth and selected the 29th stall for his No. 17. All four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas qualified in the top 10 as eighth-fastest Carl Edwards chose the 16th stall with an opening behind him and Kyle Busch was 10th-fastest and will pit in the seventh stall. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ty leads early session; brother Austin sets pace in final tune-up RELATED: Practice 1 results " Practice 2 results Austin Dillon locked down the top spot on the leaderboard Friday afternoon in final NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Dover International Speedway , completing a brotherly sweep of the day's two practices with his brother, Ty. Austin Dillon wheeled the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet to a fast lap of 154.261 mph in the 85-minute session on the 1-mile concrete track. The older Dillon prevailed last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway , registering his second XFINITY victory of the season. Brendan Gaughan , a teammate to both Dillons in the Childress No. 62 Chevy, clinched the second-fastest lap with a speed of 154.195 mph. Rookies Daniel Suarez (153.932) and Darrell Wallace Jr . (153.702) completed the front four in final preparation for Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM), with Sprint Cup regular Matt Kenseth closing out the top five. Chris Buescher , the series' points leader, was eighth-fastest in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford. Defending series champion Chase Elliott posted the 10th-fastest lap in the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet. Ty Dillon , who led Friday's opening practice, was 14th-fastest in final practice in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevy. He enters Saturday's 200-miler second in the standings, just four points behind Buescher after 11 of 33 races this season. Carl Long , who crashed his No. 13 Dodge late in the opening practice, was back on the track for just three laps in the second session. Long returned after help from the No. 97 team of Peyton Sellers , whose car dropped debris that caused the wreck. Coors Light Pole Qualifying to set the 40-car XFINITY field is scheduled Saturday at 11:15 a.m. ET (FOX Sports 1). Ty Dillon fast early in Monster Mile practice Ty Dillon soared atop the NASCAR XFINITY Series leaderboard in opening practice Friday morning at Dover International Speedway . Dillon, driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet, posted a fast lap of 158.033 mph under overcast skies at the mile-long concrete track. He was a shade faster than 18-year-old Erik Jones , second-fastest at 156.829 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. Brian Scott , a teammate of Dillon's at RCR, was third-fastest in the No. 2 Chevrolet in preparation for Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Sprint Cup Series regulars Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillon completed the top five. XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher , driving the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford, was ninth-fastest of the 40 cars to turn laps in the 55-minute session. Defending series champion Chase Elliott posted the 10th-fastest lap in the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet. The session was brought to an abrupt end with Carl Long crashed with two minutes left. After hitting a piece of debris, Long's No. 13 crunched into the outside wall in Turn 4 before sliding down the banking and into the inside wall on the frontstretch. NASCAR officials indicated that they would investigate the incident in the XFINITY Series garage. FOX Sports 1 reported that the debris came from the No. 97 Chevrolet of Peyton Sellers . Final XFINITY Series practice is scheduled Friday at 2-3:25 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1). Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the 12th of 33 races this season is scheduled Saturday at 11:15 a.m. ET (FS1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Matthew Dillner roams the NSCS garage at Dover International Speedway to talk with drivers and be pelted by apples from Matt Kenseth .
Matt Kenseth talks about breaking his 51-race winless streak and clinching a spot in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer.
Matt Kenseth battles Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon for the win in a Green-White-Checkered finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver looks to bounce back from winless season RELATED: Full schedule of driver previews Team: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota Rank in final 2014 standings: Seventh Wins: None Year in photos: Recap Kenseth's 2014 season Strides: "Highlight of our season? That's a tough one because we didn't win any races," Kenseth said when asked about 2014 superlatives. The winner of a career-best seven races after making the move to JGR in 2013, Kenseth and the No. 20 team couldn’t find their way to Victory Lane once the '14 season got under way. But by the end of the year, Kenseth actually had more top-five (13) and top-10 (22) finishes than he managed the previous year. He also qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the 10th time, advancing through two rounds before being eliminated in the Eliminator Round. In addition to earning two pole positions, Kenseth posted a career-best second-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Actually, Kenseth wasn't shut out of Victory Lane entirely -- he did collect a checkered flag in the season-ending Nationwide (now XFINITY ) Series event at Homestead, and won one of the two qualifying races prior to the Daytona 500 . "Winning the first (Duel) race at Daytona was probably the highlight, going out and feeling like we were going to be pretty competitive there; Denny (Hamlin) won the second one, we won the first one," Kenseth said. "At the time I didn't think that would be our highlight, but that was probably one of them. "We had a lot of solid races but none that really stand out, where I was like 'Man, that was just an awesome day' because we didn't get any wins." Setbacks: The lack of wins -- it was his first shutout season since 2010 -- and a lack of get-to-the-front speed proved to be the team's undoing. But Kenseth said it wasn't a single item that held the team back throughout the course of the 36-race season. Down the stretch, he and his team remained in contention. A third-place finish at Phoenix in the Eliminator Round finale saw him finish just outside the cutoff for advancing to the Championship Round. "Exceptionally fast" the previous year, Kenseth said "between the aero changes (in '14) and getting the car down on the track, we just didn't seem to have a handle on it the way we did the year before. Our balance was just way off and we could never get it fixed the way we wanted it." Quoteworthy: "I feel like we did a really good job this year with what we had to work with. None of our cars were near as fast as they were last year." What's next: While expansion and a crew chief shuffle at JGR will have new faces in new places for '15, Kenseth's group will have a familiar look. Jason Ratcliff returns for a third season as crew chief, a non-change that Kenseth feels good about. Kenseth said he's also looking forward to the the latest changes to the rules package, moves that will take away a bit of horsepower and lessen downforce. "Hopefully that will make it a little easier to pass in traffic; hopefully it will make the cars a little freer," he said. "They just had so much spoiler on them last year and were always so tight. I'm hoping that will help. It's the same for everybody but hopefully it will help." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule