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Charlotte NASCAR: Matt Kenseth on pole for Joe Gibbs Racing

Matt Kenseth put his Joe Gibbs Toyota on pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's longest race as he topped Thursday evening's qualifying session at Charlotte

Kenseth was quickest in round one of qualifying, a close second to Kevin Harvick in round two, and then produced a 27.861-second lap in the pole shootout to beat Joey Logano's Penske Ford to first on the grid for the 600-mile event by 0.204s.

With Carl Edwards and All-Star race winner Denny Hamlin third and fifth - split by Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle - JGR had three of the top five places. Kyle Busch starts 17th in its fourth car.

Harvick could only manage eighth in the final round, though that still made him top Chevrolet. He starts behind Brad Keselowski and recent Michael Waltrip Racing arrival David Ragan.

Hendrick didn't get any of its four cars into the pole session. Jimmie Johnson will be its highest starter in 13th, with Dale Earnhardt Jr 15th, Jeff Gordon 18th and Kasey Kahne down in 33rd after a cut tyre.

An ample 48-car entry, the largest since the Daytona 500, meant five non-qualifiers. Jeb Burton, Mike Bliss, Travis Kvapil, Jeff Green and Brendan Gaughan all missed out.

The race doesn't take place until Sunday night. Further practice sessions follow on Saturday after a break in track activity on Friday.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.799s -
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 28.003s 0.204s
3 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.018s 0.219s
4 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.092s 0.293s
5 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.124s 0.325s
6 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 28.142s 0.343s
7 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 28.180s 0.381s
8 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.232s 0.433s
9 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 28.233s 0.434s
10 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 28.373s 0.574s
11 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.446s 0.647s
12 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 29.124s 1.325s
13 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.165s -
14 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.167s -
15 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.171s -
16 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 28.174s -
17 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.209s -
18 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.220s -
19 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.250s -
20 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.279s -
21 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 28.298s -
22 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 28.332s -
23 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.424s -
24 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 29.394s -
25 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 28.301s -
26 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 28.305s -
27 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.332s -
28 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.365s -
29 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.394s -
30 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 28.429s -
31 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 28.439s -
32 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet 28.444s -
33 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.470s -
34 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 28.528s -
35 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 28.538s -
36 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 28.564s -
37 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.590s -
38 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford 28.651s -
39 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.724s -
40 Brett Moffitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 29.060s -
41 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 29.078s -
42 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 29.184s -
43 Alex Kennedy Circle Sport Chevrolet 29.746s -
44 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota 28.679s -
45 Mike Bliss Go FAS Racing Ford 28.894s -
46 Travis Kvapil Circle Sport Chevrolet 28.984s -
47 Jeff Green The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 29.337s -
48 Brendan Gaughan Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 29.807s -

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