NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Matt Kenseth will start Saturday night's race at Daytona from pole position, his first of 2012.
The Roush Fenway driver, who won the season-opening Daytona 500, is looking to become only the fourth driver in NASCAR history to sweep both Daytona points-paying events in the same season, a feat last achieved 30 years ago.
Kenseth ran at an average speed of 192.386 mph on his second flying lap, a pace that would remain unbeaten after the remaining 13 drivers completed their qualifying attempts. His pole is the second of the season for Roush at Daytona, as the leading Ford team swept the front row for the season opener.
The blue oval brand is actually on a streak of three consecutive Daytona wins following Trevor Bayne's maiden win in the 500 and David Ragan's victory a year ago.
"It does feel good but I really didn't have to do a lot with it," said Kenseth about his pole-setting lap. "It's all these guys staying behind me and everybody at Roush Fenway Racing that prepares these really fast cars, specially Doug Yates giving us the power, so it's all about getting the car right and having a big motor to run those two laps. Can't wait for tomorrow night."
Reigning champion Tony Stewart had qualified second beside Kenseth but his time was disallowed due to an open cooling hose in the cockpit, promoting his Stewart-Haas team-mate Ryan Newman to the front row ahead of Hendrick Motorsports' Kasey Kahne, Roush's Greg Biffle and Hendrick's Jeff Gordon.
The Penske Racing Dodges of AJ Allmendinger and Brad Keselowski - winner of the last restrictor plate race at Talladega - were both among the top 10 in qualifying. The best Toyota of Michael Waltrip Racing's Martin Truex Jr was only 19th fastest at the end of the session.
Former Cup champion and four-time Daytona winner Bill Elliott will start sixth for series debutant Turner Motorsports, and was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in qualifying, while Robert Richardson Jr failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 46.781s 2. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 46.789s + 0.008s 3. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 46.804s + 0.023s 4. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 46.841s + 0.060s 5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 46.860s + 0.079s 6. Bill Elliott Turner Chevrolet 46.872s + 0.091s 7. Casey Mears Germain Ford 46.891s + 0.110s 8. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 46.901s + 0.120s 9. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 46.910s + 0.129s 10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 46.918s + 0.137s 11. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 46.924s + 0.143s 12. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 46.946s + 0.165s 13. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 46.953s + 0.172s 14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 46.978s + 0.197s 15. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 46.998s + 0.217s 16. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 47.003s + 0.222s 17. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 47.054s + 0.273s 18. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 47.060s + 0.279s 19. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 47.064s + 0.283s 20. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 47.097s + 0.316s 21. Mike Bliss Parsons Ford 47.124s + 0.343s 22. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 47.134s + 0.353s 23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 47.140s + 0.359s 24. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 47.158s + 0.377s 25. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 47.190s + 0.409s 26. David Stremme Inception Toyota 47.203s + 0.422s 27. David Ragan Front Row Ford 47.215s + 0.434s 28. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 47.220s + 0.439s 29. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 47.230s + 0.449s 30. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 47.231s + 0.450s 31. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 47.325s + 0.544s 32. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 47.335s + 0.554s 33. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 47.339s + 0.558s 34. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 47.357s + 0.576s 35. Kurt Busch Phoenix Chevrolet 47.370s + 0.589s 36. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 47.450s + 0.669s 37. Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 47.690s + 0.909s 38. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 47.699s + 0.918s 39. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 47.733s + 0.952s 40. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 47.888s + 1.107s 41. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 48.256s + 1.475s 42. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 43. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 48.123s + 1.342s Did not qualify: Robert Richardson Jr R3 Toyota 48.171s + 1.390s