Friday, March 4, 2011

Kenseth Sets Las Vegas Track Record, First Pole Since 2009

Sporting News Wire Service

Matt Kenseth was fastest in the first practice session earlier on Friday
LAS VEGAS -- Now that Matt Kenseth has broken one drought, he'll look to snap another on Sunday.

Speeding around Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a track-record 28.589 seconds (188.884 mph) on Friday, Kenseth knocked fellow Ford driver Marcos Ambrose off the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track.

The Coors Light pole award was the fifth of Kenseth's career and the first since May 2009 at Darlington. On Sunday, the 2003 Cup champion will try to break a winless string of 72 races that dates to Feb. 22, 2009, at Auto Club Speedway.

Kurt Busch, who qualified 22nd Friday, set the previous qualifying record of 188.719 mph last year.

Ambrose (188.166) will start beside Kenseth on the front row. Carl Edwards (188.127), last week's pole winner at Phoenix, was third and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle (187.970) fourth, as Fords claimed the top four starting positions for the third Cup race of the season.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are fifth and sixth on the grid, with A.J. Allmendinger, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin completing the top 10.

David Ragan, whose No. 6 Ford was one of the fastest cars during practice, spun off Turn 2 on his qualifying lap and failed to post a time. He will start Sunday's race from the 42nd position.

Brian Keselowski failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

Kobalt Tools 400 Starting Lineup

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