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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