Ragan claims maiden Cup pole

David Ragan claimed his maiden NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Texas by leading a Roush Fenway front row sweep ahead of Carl Edwards

Ragan claims maiden Cup pole

Ragan bumped Edwards from pole after running last in the order to complete his qualifying lap, having set the fastest practice time on Thursday afternoon. On his flying lap he was able to run nearly two tenths of a second faster than his team-mate's benchmark, setting a time of 28.448 seconds, at an average speed of 189.820 mph.

"I don't know how we pulled that off but it was really fast," said Ragan who is still looking for his first victory in what will be his 153rd Cup race driving a Roush Ford Fusion. "I have to give credit to our team and [crew chief] Drew Blickensderfer who made a gutsy call.

"We made our last qualifying run in practice and we decided to change the car up a little bit. It stuck and did what it needed to do. I really like this place, it is a fun place to come and it is cool to get a pole here. Hopefully we can turn that into a good run tomorrow."

Edwards, a three-time winner at Texas, starts Saturday night's race as a clear favourite along with his team-mates, all having shown great consistency in race trim during practice. Behind him the Richard Childress Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer was third, ahead of a third Roush Ford of Matt Kenseth while Regan Smith continued to impress with his fifth top-five start in seven races this season.

"We are fast in practice and have three of the top four in qualifying that are Fords," said Edwards. "We are as good now on the 1.5 miles, almost as good as we were in 2005 when we were lights out and won 15 total races or something like that. We are close to that form again and that is good."

Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) was sixth, ahead of Richard Petty's Marcos Ambrose and the fastest Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano. Greg Biffle's ninth place locked all Roush cars in the top 10, while last year's Texas winner Denny Hamlin was only 23rd.

Michael McDowell was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 20th. Travis Kvapil failed to make the field.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 28.448s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.644s + 0.196s 3. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 28.688s + 0.240s 4. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 28.693s + 0.245s 5. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.731s + 0.283s 6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.760s + 0.312s 7. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.776s + 0.328s 8. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.787s + 0.339s 9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.792s + 0.344s 10. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 28.815s + 0.367s 11. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.820s + 0.372s 12. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.823s + 0.375s 13. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 28.841s + 0.393s 14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.850s + 0.402s 15. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 28.850s + 0.402s 16. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s 17. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s 18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.874s + 0.426s 19. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.893s + 0.445s 20. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 28.902s + 0.454s 21. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 28.905s + 0.457s 22. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 28.933s + 0.485s 23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.949s + 0.501s 24. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 28.956s + 0.508s 25. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 28.969s + 0.521s 26. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.976s + 0.528s 27. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 29.041s + 0.593s 28. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 29.042s + 0.594s 29. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 29.045s + 0.597s 30. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 29.052s + 0.604s 31. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 29.068s + 0.620s 32. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.098s + 0.650s 33. David Starr Leavine Fenton Ford 29.098s + 0.650s 34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 29.108s + 0.660s 35. JJ Yeley Whitney Chevrolet 29.143s + 0.695s 36. Mike Skinner Germain Toyota 29.170s + 0.722s 37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 29.198s + 0.750s 38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 29.325s + 0.877s 39. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 29.409s + 0.961s 40. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 29.462s + 1.014s 41. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 29.772s + 1.324s 42. Tony Raines Front Row Ford 30.147s + 1.699s 43. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 29.383s + 0.935s Did not qualify: Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 29.446s + 0.998s 
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