Texas Motor Speedway

Lineup for AAA Texas 500

Leader of the pack

Matt Kenseth is the pole-sitter for the first time at TMS. He had the top lap in the final qualifying round at 199.299 mph. Maybe this is the key for him to win his first race of the season. Said Kenseth: “We’ve been getting a hard time for not winning anything this year — so small victories I guess. It’s pole night and that’s the best driving car I’ve had at an intermediate [track] all year by far, hands down.”

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Successful Chasers

Six of the eight Chase drivers are starting 11th-or-better. Behind Kenseth, in order, will be Jeff Gordon (second), Kevin Harvick (fifth), Ryan Newman (seventh), Joey Logano (10th) and Carl Edwards (11th).

Unsuccessful Chasers

Brad Keselowski had the worst qualifying run of any Chase driver, coming in at 26th. Winners have come back from that deep in the field, but it doesn’t happen too often.

Denny Hamlin also had a disappointing day and will start 20th. But don’t write Hamlin off quite yet, as his two wins at TMS have come when he started 29th and 30th, respectively.

Johnson strong

Jimmie Johnson’s title hopes are gone, but he’s made it clear he wants to win. He’s in position to do it, too, and earn what would be his fourth win at Texas. He’s starting third, the same starting position as when he won here a year ago.

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Where’s Junior, Danica?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won last week’s race at Martinsville, the first week since being eliminated from the Chase, and will try to make it two straight from the 12th starting position. Earnhardt always enjoys Texas, the site of his first Cup win.

Another popular driver, Danica Patrick, didn’t have a great qualifying run. She’ll start 27th for her first race with a new crew chief.

St No. Driver Car Speed
1 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 199.299
2 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 199.291
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 198.983
4 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 198.91
5 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 198.836
6 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 198.508
7 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 198.5
8 78 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet 198.398
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 198.333
10 22 Joey Logano Ford 198.071
11 99 Carl Edwards Ford 198.042
12 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 197.744
13 55 Brian Vickers Toyota 198.646
14 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 198.632
15 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 198.515
16 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 198.493
17 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 198.354
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 198.311
19 16 Greg Biffle Ford 198.129
20 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 197.773
21 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 197.751
22 43 Aric Almirola Ford 197.477
23 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 197.087
24 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 196.707
25 21 Trevor Bayne Ford 197.571
26 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 197.181
27 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 196.822
28 95 Michael McDowell Ford 196.685
29 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 196.635
30 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 196.385
31 38 David Gilliland Ford 196.364
32 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 195.986
33 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 195.751
34 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 195.744
35 23 Alex Bowman Toyota 195.659
36 98 Josh Wise Chevrolet 195.503
37 34 David Ragan Ford Owner Points.
38 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet Owner Points.
39 83 J.J. Yeley Toyota Owner Points.
40 26 Cole Whitt Toyota Owner Points.
41 66 Brett Moffitt Toyota Owner Points.
42 33 Timmy Hill Chevrolet Owner Points.
43 32 Joey Gase Ford Owner Points.

This story was originally published October 31, 2014 10:36 PM.

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