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Kenseth wins pole in Phoenix

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, November 12, 2011

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Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth did his teammate a favor. In winning the pole of Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kenseth -- the next-to-last driver to make a qualifying attempt on Saturday -- moved Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards from eighth to ninth in the starting order.

That's a boon to Chase leader Edwards, who will start on the much more manageable inside row, whereas Tony Stewart, three points behind Edwards, will start eighth, but on the outside where the grip is tenuous at best.

Kenseth toured the repaved, reconfigured one-mile track in 26.258 seconds (137.101 mph) to edge AJ Allmendinger (136.446 mph) for the Coors Light pole award, Kenseth's third of the season and the seventh of his career.

Marcos Ambrose (136.307 mph), Allmendinger's teammate at Richard Petty Motorsports, qualified third, followed by Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr., who ran identical speeds (136.080 mph).

Conditions for qualifying were radically different from practice sessions a day earlier. On Friday, under a cloudy sky, most of the field ran faster than Edwards' qualifying record of 137.279 mph, set in February.

With the sun out on Saturday, and the track considerably hotter, drivers ran roughly a full second slower on average than they had Friday.

Lineup

POS

CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 137.101 26.258 Leader
2 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Wix Filters 136.446 26.384 -0.126
3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 136.307 26.411 -0.153
4 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 136.080 26.455 -0.197
5 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 136.080 26.455 -0.197
6 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 136.008 26.469 -0.211
7 00 David Reutimann Toyota Tums 135.988 26.473 -0.215
8 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 135.911 26.488 -0.230
9 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 135.701 26.529 -0.271
10 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 135.675 26.534 -0.276
11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Peak / Menards 135.609 26.547 -0.289
12 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 135.415 26.585 -0.327
13 6 David Ragan Ford UPS My Choice 135.399 26.588 -0.330
14 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar Global Mining 135.298 26.608 -0.350
15 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 135.272 26.613 -0.355
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 135.247 26.618 -0.360
17 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 135.227 26.622 -0.364
18 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 135.216 26.624 -0.366
19 84 Cole Whitt Toyota Red Bull Racing Team 135.211 26.625 -0.367
20 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy 135.186 26.630 -0.372
21 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 135.181 26.631 -0.373
22 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Retro Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 135.166 26.634 -0.376
23 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 134.887 26.689 -0.431
24 46 Scott Speed Ford Green Stuff Absorbent 134.862 26.694 -0.436
25 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 134.852 26.696 -0.438
26 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 134.811 26.704 -0.446
27 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 134.756 26.715 -0.457
28 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios "Send Cheer" / Hamburger Helper 134.574 26.751 -0.493
29 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / Meguiars 134.549 26.756 -0.498
30 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army Veterans Day Tribute 134.509 26.764 -0.506
31 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Wounded Warrior Project / Clorox 134.363 26.793 -0.535
32 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 134.143 26.837 -0.579
33 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 134.078 26.850 -0.592
34 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 133.650 26.936 -0.678
35 66 Michael McDowell Toyota HP Racing LLC 133.437 26.979 -0.721
36 37 Mike Skinner Ford Max Q Motorsports 133.220 27.023 -0.765
37 55 Travis Kvapil Ford Aloft Hotels 133.136 27.040 -0.782
38 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 133.028 27.062 -0.804
39 32 Mike Bliss Ford Veterans United Home Loans 132.431 27.184 -0.926
40 36 Geoffrey Bodine+ Chevrolet Luke & Associates 131.305 27.417 -1.159
41 38 J.J. Yeley+ Ford Vampt 128.981 27.911 -1.653
42 34 David Gilliland+ Ford Front Row Motorsports 123.068 29.252 -2.994
43 135 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Big Red 132.562 27.157 -0.899

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