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.
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
Veteran won Sprint Unlimited, posted strong time in qualifying Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – He won the Sprint Unlimited and posted the fourth fastest time in the final round of qualifying for Sunday’s Daytona 500 (which became the third fastest in the final round after teammate Denny Hamlin's time was disallowed). Matt Kenseth is looking more like the driver that won seven times in 2013 and less like the one who went winless last season. But there's a long way to go between qualifying for the 500 and taking the green flag in the season-opening race. Three more practice sessions (two on Wednesday and another on Thursday) are on tap, and that's just before this week's Budweiser Duel qualifying races on Thursday night. There are three more practices after the duels. "We got through the first two processes and now we need to get through the (qualifying race) with a good finish and get ready for Sunday," Kenseth said after locking in the No. 2 starting spot for Thursday's opening 60-lap, 150-mile race. "I feel like all our (cars) have been real competitive since we got here – we've got a lot of speed and that's encouraging, but it's speedway racing and anything can happen." Kenseth's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing entry will start alongside Daytona 500 pole winner Jeff Gordon in the opening duel. Help from his teammates was crucial during Sunday's qualifying, but Kenseth will have no such assistance come Thursday. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin will be lining up in the second qualifier, based on the odd-even pairing to set the two fields. Those three rolled into Daytona with new crew chiefs in tow – Darian Grubb with Edwards, Adam Stevens with Busch and Dave Rogers with Hamlin. Kenseth touched down with Jason Ratcliff, just as he did last year. Team owner Joe Gibbs said there no reason to pull the plug on the No. 20 pairing. "There was no thought there," he said. "We really felt like this is one team we wanted to leave matched up. "Each one of those other situations was a little bit different." Kenseth didn't make it to the winner's circle last year in a points-paying event, but Ratcliff doesn't sound too disappointed when ask about the results. "We had a great season. When you look at our overall performance, our top 10s, top fives … we had a lot of good opportunities," he said. "Having two years under out belt, I think it's a no-brainer. We're looking forward to a remarkable year." How a team fares here at Daytona may set the tone for the season, but it doesn't set the table. Restrictor-place races are few and far between on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It's the intermediate tracks that are the meat and potatoes. And while history shows that Daytona 500 winners rarely go on to win the championship, that nugget doesn't take any of the shine off winning the series biggest race. Kenseth has been to Victory Lane here twice in the 500, both times while with Roush Fenway Racing. JGR drivers have won here once, and that was back in '93 with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett driving. "We've been here 24 years. We've won once," Gibbs said. "It's extremely hard. … For us it has been gut‑wrenching. I can't tell you how many times we've been disappointed walking away from here." Getting a win in the Unlimited race, a non-points event, was big, Kenseth said, but it also afforded the team the opportunity to understand a few things that might be of use in the coming days. "I felt like we learned some things about the race car, the track and the tires a little bit," he said. "that will apply Thursday night. This is the only shot at it (in race conditions). "It's a great start. Hopefully we can keep the momentum for the rest of the week." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Complete news and notes about all 43 drivers and their Coca-Cola 600 results RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid after Charlotte 1. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Sticky feet didn't slow down Edwards, who stretched his fuel window to claim his first Charlotte 600 victory while pretty much locking up a spot in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . " NASCAR.com goes 1-on-1 with Edwards in Victory Lane 2. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle turned in his best showing of the year, starting fourth and earning runner-up honors in the season's longest race. " Biffle reflects on runner-up finish 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native overcame an early-race pit miscue to resume running in the top 10 by Lap 100 and earn his seventh top-five of the year. He now ranks fourth in the points. " Dale Jr. looks at top-five finish at Charlotte 4. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The pole winner closed 12 spots in the final 40 laps after making an unscheduled pit stop with less than 100 laps to go for a loose wheel. " Kenseth talks about late gamble 5. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Before a late-race fuel gamble didn't work out, Truex led a race-high 131 laps and radioed to his team, "I'm feeling like Superman for a few laps anyway." " Truex: 'It hurts to come home fifth' 6. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman earned the beneficiary of the free pass during the final caution period and closed 11 places in the final 40 laps. 7. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . New father Keselowski told his team early that his "ride quality is on par with Kentucky." He won at Kentucky last year, but had to settle for a top 10 (his eighth of the season) due to the fuel mileage game. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for RaceView Premium today 8. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin, winner of the recent Sprint All-Star race, was pacing the 600 field with a migraine when a loose wheel prompted an unscheduled pit stop with 38 laps to go. " Hamlin visits media center after trip to infield care center 9. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick recorded his 11th top-10 result in 12 appearances this season to extend his grip on the points lead 10. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch lined up 14th and posted the fastest lap of the race on Lap 143 (188.153 mph), which was one of the 118 laps he led on Sunday. 11. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . In his first points race since the Daytona crash, Busch reassured his team he could run the full 600 miles. "Tell Erik (Jones, replacement driver) I feel good," Busch radioed his team. "10-4," crew chief Adam Stevens responded. "His bedtime's in about 20 minutes anyhow." " Busch passes big test at Charlotte 12. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne was tagged near the halfway point for speeding on pit road, but rallied to earn the beneficiary of the free pass and run inside the top 10 with 50 laps to go. 13. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . The birthday boy shook off debris in the first 24 laps to lead twice for 17 circuits on Sunday. 14. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard quietly toured Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval en route to his eighth top-15 result of the season. 15. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . After pacing the field to green in the Indy 500, Gordon lined up 18th in his Coca-Cola 600 finale and had a decent run until a loose wheel impacted his day. " Gordon leads Indy field to green 16. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon drove a new chassis to his best 1.5-mile result of the season. 17. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola earned the beneficiary of the free pass on the Lap 230 caution and found himself in position again for the free pass in the closing laps. 18. Chase Elliott , No. 25 Chevrolet. Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott, in his third Cup outing and first at a 1.5-miler, qualified 28th and mostly ran inside the top 25, despite dealing with a radio communication issue during the race. 19. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The two-time Charlotte winner had a ho hum day, running middle of the pack in his 26th appearance at the 1.5-mile track. 20. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer's frustration sparked a late-race decision to gamble on fuel mileage. "Might as well (gamble)," Bowyer radioed crew chief Brian Pattie. "Nothing to lose." " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for RaceView Premium today 21. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart was running a lap down when he got into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., who slid up the track ahead of him on Lap 302. 22. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick had to make two pit stops during the third caution flag after receiving damage from a dust-up with Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott on pit road. 23. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears battled a lack of air conditioning and tried to stay cool during the season's longest race by taking ice bags during pit stops. 24. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish couldn't climb back from an early handling issue although he later ran lap times comparable to those inside the top 15. 25. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson qualified ninth, marking his first top-10 start at Charlotte, and ran as high as eighth before quietly fading. 26. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Encouraged early by crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr. not to overdrive it, Bowman went on to post his best intermediate track finish of the year. 27. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne's tough night was further impacted when he hit the wall on Lap 230 to bring out the fourth caution flag and halt 89 laps of green-flag racing. 28. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt liked his car during practice and ultimately turned in his best 2015 result on a 1.5-mile track. 29. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger required an unscheduled pit stop around Lap 160 when a hot dog wrapper stuck to his grille and raised temps. 30. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . McDowell spent the night looking for speed as he worked with his team on the handling of the No. 95 Ford. 31. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Spotter Tony Raines told Moffitt his car was faster than those ahead of him, but grip was a persistent problem. 32. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett, who dealt with a tight-handling condition early on Sunday, spun on the backstretch on Lap 328 to bring out the caution flag. 33. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland, who honored The Unknown Soldier with his car, led Lap 28 after choosing not to pit during the competition caution. 34. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto, making his third 1.5-mile start and his first at Charlotte, complained early of a loose-handling condition. 35. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise lined up 38th and got behind early, but still held on to post his best Charlotte result in his last four outings at the 1.5-mile track. 36. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Making his Charlotte debut, Kennedy improved upon his earlier intermediate result this season at Texas Motor Speedway . 37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse cracked the top 10 with 70 laps to go, but watched his second top-10 of the season slip through his fingers after he hit the wall eight laps later 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley was mired in traffic after being penalized during the competition caution when a crew member went over the wall too early. 3 9. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill followed the race on Sunday by physically running 14 miles to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in support of the Folds of Honor Foundation. " Cassill completes unique Memorial Day weekend double 40. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson spun on Lap 90 and saved his car in a move reminiscent of Kansas Speedway , where he was victorious. But he wasn't able to save it a second time after he spun on Lap 274 and collided with the inside pit wall. " Second spin crunches Johnson's No. 48 41. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . In the final third of the race, Ragan cited his water temperatures were fluctuating and ultimately was sidelined by an engine issue. 42. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney cracked the top 11 on Sunday, but his strong run was halted on Lap 282 when his engine blew up. 43. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier, in his third Charlotte start, retreated to the garage after getting into the wall between Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 136. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule