Atlanta NASCAR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr claims first Cup pole

NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr claimed his first pole position in the series at Atlanta on Friday evening

Atlanta NASCAR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr claims first Cup pole

Unlike most rivals, Stenhouse chose to run low on the racetrack for his pole shot.

The tactic paid off as he usurped Roush Fenway team-mate Carl Edwards with a 189.688mph/29.227s lap, taking pole by a tenth of a second.

On the day that his Earnhardt Ganassi replacement was revealed as Kyle Larson, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified third fastest.

Denny Hamlin joins him on row two, followed by Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr - who is driving with a fractured wrist this weekend.

Championship leader Jimmie Johnson starts 10th.

After his run of strong qualifying results, Kurt Busch could only manage 32nd this time.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 29.227s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 29.330s +0.103s 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 29.405s +0.178s 4. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.406s +0.179s 5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.481s +0.254s 6. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.492s +0.265s 7. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 29.499s +0.272s 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 29.565s +0.338s 9. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.570s +0.343s 10. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 29.572s +0.345s 11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 29.580s +0.353s 12. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 29.616s +0.389s 13. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Toyota 29.646s +0.419s 14. David Ragan Front Row Ford 29.658s +0.431s 15. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 29.689s +0.462s 16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 29.699s +0.472s 17. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.714s +0.487s 18. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 29.719s +0.492s 19. Casey Mears Germain Ford 29.731s +0.504s 20. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 29.760s +0.533s 21. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.789s +0.562s 22. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 29.829s +0.602s 23. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 29.851s +0.624s 24. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 29.872s +0.645s 25. David Stremme Swan Toyota 29.903s +0.676s 26. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 29.914s +0.687s 27. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.929s +0.702s 28. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 29.957s +0.730s 29. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 29.986s +0.759s 30. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 30.011s +0.784s 31. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 30.045s +0.818s 32. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 30.049s +0.822s 33. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 30.072s +0.845s 34. David Reutimann BK Toyota 30.175s +0.948s 35. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 30.337s +1.110s 36. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 30.392s +1.165s 37. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 30.426s +1.199s 38. Mike Bliss Phoenix Chevrolet 30.473s +1.246s 39. Landon Cassill Hillman Chevrolet 30.550s +1.323s 40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 30.593s +1.366s 41. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 30.863s +1.636s 42. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 30.994s +1.767s 43. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 
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Stewart-Haas has no doubts over 2014 NASCAR signing Kurt Busch
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