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Toyotas to start 1-2 for Toyota race

NASCAr Sprint Cup
Friday, April 26, 2013

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Matt Kenseth - gained 0.9 sec from practice to qualifying, said "It's fun to start on the front row with the 11 (Brian Vickers) and the 20 being Toyota's race tomorrow night"  What a comeback.  What a story.  But too late - NASCAR buried another championship contender
What a comeback.  What a story.

Less than a week after winning the STP 400 from the pole at Kansas Speedway -- only to draw a NASCAR penalty of epic proportions for an underweight connecting rod in his engine -- Matt Kenseth is back on top at Richmond International Raceway in his Toyota in a race sponsored by Toyota.

With a track-record run at 130.334 mph (20.716 seconds), Kenseth won his second Coors Light pole award in as many weeks and the 10th of his career. Kenseth edged Brian Vickers (130.303 mph), subbing for injured Denny Hamlin for the third straight week, by 0.005 seconds.

Kenseth will lead the field to green for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 0.75-mile track.

Jeff Gordon (130.252 mph) qualified third, followed by Kasey Kahne (130.183 mph) and Clint Bowyer (130.158 mph), as the top five drivers broke Vickers’ 2004 track record of 129.983 mph (20.772 seconds).

Kahne, currently second in the Cup standings, will start 22 positions ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who leads Kahne by 37 points. Brad Keselowski, third in the standings and 38 points back, qualified 23rd. Kyle Busch, winner of the last four spring races at Richmond, starts eighth.

For Kenseth, and for his sponsors, the pole was a welcome bright spot at the end of a trying week.

“It feels great,” Kenseth said. “It’s a great race track. I felt like we were off a little in practice today, and (crew chief) Jason Ratcliff and that whole group there did the things they do for me every week and just made great adjustments.

“I thought we hit it pretty good there in that lap, had great speed. Thanks to Dollar General, Husky, Home Depot (Kenseth’s sponsors) for sticking with us through all this stuff this week. We’ll get through this … glad to be on the pole, and looking forward to tomorrow night.”

After wrecking during qualifying at Kansas last week and starting from the rear of the field in a backup car, Gordon thought initially that the pole at Richmond might be an appropriate reward for his issues, but he conceded the honor to Kenseth.


“I was thinking how much I deserved to get the pole after starting 43rd last week, but after his week, maybe he deserved it a little bit more,” Gordon quipped.

Notes: What are the odds? With qualifying order determined by blind draw, the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets of Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick were the first three cars on the grid for time trials. The Richard Petty Motorsports Fords of Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose followed in positions four and five… AJ Allmendinger, fresh from the IndyCar event at Long Beach, Calif., qualified 24th in his return to Cup racing in James Finch’s No. 51 Chevrolet… As part of the penalty for the illegal connecting rod, Kenseth was stripped of his eligibility in the 2014 season-opening Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona for pole winners. He regained it with the pole run at Richmond.

Results

Pos Driver Car Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota The Home Depot / Husky 130.334 20.716 Leader
2 Brian Vickers 11 Toyota FedEx Delivery Manager 130.303 20.721 -0.005
3 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 130.252 20.729 -0.013
4 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Quaker State 130.183 20.740 -0.024
5 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota Toyota Care 130.158 20.744 -0.028
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Depend 129.851 20.793 -0.077
7 Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell-Pennzoil 129.758 20.808 -0.092
8 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota M&M's 129.633 20.828 -0.112
9 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Brakes 129.596 20.834 -0.118
10 Mark Martin 55 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 129.577 20.837 -0.121
11 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford DeWalt 129.565 20.839 -0.123
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Zest 129.552 20.841 -0.125
13 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet McDonald's 129.534 20.844 -0.128
14 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing-Serta 129.422 20.862 -0.146
15 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Outback Steak House 129.385 20.868 -0.152
16 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Airgas/Bulwark 129.372 20.870 -0.154
17 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Bell Helicopter 129.366 20.871 -0.155
18 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet Sany 129.292 20.883 -0.167
19 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet National Guard 129.187 20.900 -0.184
20 David Ragan 34 Ford CSX - Play It Safe 129.162 20.904 -0.188
21 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 129.112 20.912 -0.196
22 David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 129.112 20.912 -0.196
23 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Redd's Apple Ale 129.032 20.925 -0.209
24 AJ Allmendinger 51 Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 128.915 20.944 -0.228
25 David Stremme 30 Toyota Swan Racing 128.811 20.961 -0.245
26 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White 128.780 20.966 -0.250
27 Josh Wise 35 Ford MDS Transport 128.743 20.972 -0.256
28 Carl Edwards 99 Ford Geek Squad 128.725 20.975 -0.259
29 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards-CertainTeed 128.719 20.976 -0.260
30 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 128.700 20.979 -0.263
31 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos / Precon Marine 128.682 20.982 -0.266
32 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota Bush's Beans 128.608 20.994 -0.278
33 Greg Biffle 16 Ford American Red Cross 128.516 21.009 -0.293
34 Aric Almirola 43 Ford Smithfield 128.351 21.036 -0.320
35 Michael McDowell 98 Ford Phil Parsons Racing 128.053 21.085 -0.369
36 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Dominion Raceway 127.956 21.101 -0.385
37 David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver's 127.883 21.113 -0.397
38 Mike Bliss 19 Chevrolet Plinker Tactical 127.485 21.179 -0.463
39 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet TBA 126.547 21.336 -0.620
40 Casey Mears 13 Ford GEICO 126.404 21.360 -0.644
41 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota Acredale Vending / AM FM Energy 125.886 21.448 -0.732
42 Timmy Hill 32 Ford OXY Water 125.692 21.481 -0.765
43 Brian Keselowski 52 Toyota TBA 123.751 21.818 -1.102

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