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NASCAR Cup: Matt Kenseth on pole at Richmond

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 28, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 28, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Matt Kenseth claimed his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole of 2017 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Friday, turning in a 22.300-second/121.076 mph lap in the third of three rounds of qualifying to claim the pole for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400. It’s his second-career Richmond pole.
“We had enough speed in our Circle K Camry that we only had to do one lap each of the first two rounds to get us into the third round, and we improved a little bit the second lap,” Kenseth said. “It was a good qualifying effort for us. Feels good to be on the pole. I want to thank Circle K; it’s their first foray into full-time Cup racing. So glad they’re on our car.”
Ryan Blaney was second in qualifying to claim his third front-row start in the first nine races of the year.
“It was a good effort,” Blaney said. “I didn’t think we were very good in round one. I think we were 19th after round one, and we got better for round two, and obviously, better for round three. That is something our team has done really well this year — improving from round to round. That is an area we struggled last year. We would always kind of go backwards from round to round last year, and this year, it is kind of opposite, which is a lot better.”
Martin Truex Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed second-row positions on Sunday’s starting grid. Meanwhile, Joey Logano claimed the fifth starting spot for his 300th-career Cup Series start.
“We just lost a little bit, there, the last run,” Logano said. “We got loose into (turns) three and four, missed it the first lap and did the same exact thing the second lap. It is so frustrating when you win the first two rounds, and the one that pays the money, you are not there. That is always frustrating. I guess we have decent speed in our car, it is just frustrating. I don’t know what else to say. It just sucks.”
Logano was the fastest in the first and second rounds of qualifying. His 22.228-second/121.468 mph lap in the second round was the fastest lap, overall, of the qualifying session.
Below, is the full starting grid for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway:
Row 1 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 2 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 3 — Joey Logan (No. 22 Ford), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford)
Row 4 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford)
Row 5 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 9 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 10 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota)
Row 11 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet), Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet), Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford)
Row 15 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), David Ragan (No. 38 Ford)
Row 16 — Gray Gaulding (No. 23 Toyota), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford)
Row 17 — Reed Sorenson (No. 15 Chevrolet), Corey LaJoie (No. 83 Toyota)
Row 18 — Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 33 Chevrolet), Cole Whitt (No. 72 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Timmy Hill (No. 51 Chevrolet), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on April 28, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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