Matt Kenseth captures pole for Auto Club 400

Matt Kenseth done a lap of 38.438 seconds (187.315 mph) and took the Coors Light Pole Award.

Matt Kenseth (No. 20, Dollar General Toyota) took the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.438 seconds (187.315 mph) on Friday during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway.

Kenseth, who now has 12 poles in 513 career attempts and had never finished on the pole in 22 races at ACS, edged ahead of Brad Keselowski (No. 2, Wurth Ford) and five-time Fontana winner Jimmie Johnson (No. 48, Lowe’s Spring Is Calling Chevrolet) for the top spot in Sunday’s 400 mile, 200-lap race under NASCAR's new qualifying format.

Polesitter Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Polesitter Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Kenseth has won three times at Fontana, most recently in 2009

It was the fourth consecutive front-row start for Keselowski, who won in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

Kevin Harvick (No. 4, Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) was fourth followed by Clint Bowyer (No. 15, PEAK Toyota), Jeff Gordon (No. 24, Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) and Joey Logano (No. 22, AAA Southern California Ford).

Just one year ago, Logano was involved in a remarkable finish at the ACS before crashing with Denny Hamlin (No. 11, FedEx Express Toyota) on the final lap. Hamlin finished 13th on Friday.

The rest of the top 12 included Marcos Ambrose (No. 9, DeWalt Ford), Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford), Tony Stewart (No. 14, Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42, Target Chevrolet) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet). Larson (11th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.

Defending race champion Kyle Busch (No. 18, Interstate Batteries Toyota), who earlier in the day was enshrined in the Walk of Fame, was 14th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88, National Guard Chevrolet) was 15th.

Auto Club Speedway

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch , Kyle Larson
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags 400, auto club, brad keselowski, fontana, jimmie johnson, kevin harvick, matt kenseth