Kenseth Edges Gordon to Pole

Matt Kenseth has taken his first pole position of the year and his second NASCAR career pole at Bristol Motor Speedway, ahead of the Sharpie 500 night race

Kenseth Edges Gordon to Pole

Kenseth, who last claimed pole in 2002, lapped the oval in 172.300 mph, beating last year's pole-sitter Jeff Gordon to the top spot. Gordon, in fact, started the race from pole position for the past three years.

"It's been a while. We've only won two poles," Kenseth stated. "We won one at Dover a few years ago, so it feels great. It was a great lap. We've got a great car for the race.

"It was pretty fun to beat Jeff off the pole because he's always known for being so good here.

Gordon is currently outside the top ten in the points standings, and he needs just 58 points to make it into the Chase for the Cup. And the former Championhopes his front row start will do the trick.

"It was a great lap, I'm real happy with it," Gordon said after qualifying. "But I kind of felt like we left a little bit out there. All it took was somebody like Matt Kenseth to put a good lap together.

"I really want to come out of here with a strong run and I sure would like that to be a win. But the focus is just getting the best finish that we possibly can."

Dave Blaney and Greg Biffle will start from the second row, in third and fourth respectively, while Ricky Rudd and Ryan Newman start from fifth and six respectively.

Points leader Tony Stewart qualified a lowly 17th, having had to jump into his backup car, after a heavy crash in practice had damaged his racing car.

Pos Driver Make Speed 1. Matt Kenseth Ford 127.300 2. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 127.199 3. Dave Blaney Chevrolet 127.157 4. Greg Biffle Ford 127.014 5. Ricky Rudd Ford 126.980 6. Ryan Newman Dodge 126.955 7. Ken Schrader Dodge 126.955 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr. Chevrolet 126.888 9. Elliott Sadler Ford 126.737 10. Kasey Kahne Dodge 126.587 11. Kyle Busch Chevrolet 126.570 12. Scott Riggs Chevrolet 126.337 13. Kurt Busch Ford 126.220 14. Casey Mears Dodge 126.154 15. Mike Wallace Chevrolet 126.129 16. Jeremy Mayfield Dodge 126.112 17. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 126.030 18. Jamie McMurray Dodge 125.897 19. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 125.840 20. Rusty Wallace Dodge 125.823 21. Johnny Benson Chevrolet 125.798 22. Michael Waltrip Chevrolet 125.691 23. Brian Vickers Chevrolet 125.601 24. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 125.576 25. Mark Martin Ford 125.518 26. Kyle Petty Dodge 125.387 27. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 125.379 28. Jeff Green Dodge 125.313 29. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 125.305 30. Dale Jarrett Ford 125.281 31. Travis Kvapil Dodge 125.183 32. Scott Wimmer Dodge 125.150 33. Robby Gordon Chevrolet 124.995 34. Jimmy Spencer Dodge 124.954 35. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 124.849 36. Stanton Barrett Chevrolet 124.687 37. Carl Edwards Ford 124.605 38. Hermie Sadler Chevrolet 124.018 39. Terry Labonte Chevrolet 123.946 40. Sterling Marlin Dodge 123.826 41. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 123.538 42. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 123.364 43. Carl Long Chevrolet 123.922 
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