Kenseth Takes Pole Position at Richmond

Matt Kenseth will lead the field to the green flag after winning the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota scored the pole after posting a time of 22.300 and a speed of 121.076 mph. It’s his first pole of 2017, his 19th career pole, and his second at Richmond. Kenseth also has two previous wins at the track, in 2002 and 2015.

“I don’t get a lot of poles so anytime I get a pole, it’s pretty special,” Kenseth said after winning the Coors Light Pole Award.

“This year has not been a good year for us, obviously, so far,” Kenseth continued in the post-qualifying media session. “We finished strong at Bristol, but we didn’t get to qualify because of the rain, and that put us in the middle of the pack – there and Martinsville.

“We haven’t been getting any stage points. We’re buried in the points back there and we finally got a decent finish last week, so hopefully this week we can start up front, stay up front and hopefully collect some of the stage points. But most importantly we’re in the mix for a win at the end of the day.”

Ryan Blaney will start second in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford after posting a time of 22.341 and a speed of 120.854 mph.

“We weren’t great the first round but kept getting steps better each round, which we’ve done a really good job of this year,” Blaney said. “I thought that’s where we struggled a lot last year. We didn’t improve last year, we would go backwards. This year we’re improving round-to-round.

Martin Truex Jr. will start third in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota after posting a time of 22.373 and a speed of 120.681 mph. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start fourth in his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford after posting a time of 22.412 and a speed of 120.471 mph. Joey Logano will round out the top-five starters in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford after posting a time of 22.429 and a speed of 120.380 mph.

Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray will round out the top-10 starters.

Daniel Suarez and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying.

All 38 drivers that attempted to qualify made the race.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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