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Kenseth earns pole for the All-Star Race; Roush locks out front row

Kenseth earns pole for the All-Star Race; Roush locks out front row
May 19, 2018, 12:06 AM

Now this is a return to NASCAR competition much more to Matt Kenseth’s liking.

After struggling in his first race back with Roush Fenway Racing last weekend, Kenseth showed a return to form on Friday night, rocketing to the pole for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kenseth’s No. 6 Ford team mastered the three-lap, four-tire pit top format, posting the fastest average lap speed of 126.915 mph while also having the fastest pit stop of the night (16.1 seconds).

This is the third time in Kenseth’s career he’s started the all-star race from the pole. He holds one win in the event in 17 previous starts.

“It’s neat to get the pole. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) was a huge help, obviously,” Kenseth said. “Having both (RFR) cars on the front row is just a testament to the team guys, the pit stops and the engines and the restrictor-plate stuff.

“It’s more about the car than it really was about me. It’s neat to be on the front row with Ricky and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Stenhouse ended up second-fastest (126.427 mph) and Clint Bowyer was third (126.233 mph). Kevin Harvick was fourth and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Joey Logano.

Several drivers experienced problems during their qualifying attempts.

Jamie McMurray was originally among the fastest qualifiers but was penalized five seconds for one unsecured lug nut.

Kasey Kahne overshot his pit stall and had to back his No. 95 Chevrolet up before his team could begin work on his stop. Later, he was penalized an additional 10 seconds for having two unsecured lug nuts. “Not even a quarter of a car length ..,” Kahne said over his team radio. “I hit the brakes and they didn’t slow me down enough on pit road.”

Logano’s team had difficulty securing his right-rear tire during his pit stop and he ended up with slow pit stop (19.9 seconds), although they did not receive any penalties.

Dillon’s team appeared to have problem securing the left-rear tire during his stop, which dropped his average speed.

Ryan Newman was originally fourth-fastest but received a five-second penalty for one unsecured lug nut.

Denny Hamlin overshot his pit stall on entry, which created a long delay. He also received a five-second outside tire violation penalty.

Kurt Busch’s team had difficulty changing his right-rear tire during his stop which caused an extensive delay.

Kyle Larson, the last of 17 cars to attempt to qualify, was so fast coming down pit road with no speed limit that he overshot his pit stall by nearly six stalls.

1 6 united_states Matt Kenseth  Ford 1 2'07.644     126.915
2 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 1 2'08.137 0.493 0.493 126.427
3 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 1 2'08.334 0.690 0.197 126.233
4 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 1 2'08.741 1.097 0.407 125.834
5 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 1 2'08.944 1.300 0.203 125.636
6 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 1 2'09.072 1.428 0.128 125.511
7 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 1 2'09.159 1.515 0.087 125.427
8 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 1 2'09.639 1.995 0.480 124.962
9 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 1 2'09.872 2.228 0.233 124.738
10 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 1 2'10.501 2.857 0.629 124.137
11 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 1 2'11.043 3.399 0.542 123.624
12 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 1 2'11.595 3.951 0.552 123.105
13 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 1 2'13.850 6.206 2.255 121.031
14 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 1 2'15.866 8.222 2.016 119.235
15 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 1 2'15.996 8.352 0.130 119.121
16 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 1 2'17.776 10.132 1.780 117.582
17 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 1 2'25.643 17.999 7.867 111.231


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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event All-Star
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway
Drivers Matt Kenseth
Author Jim Utter