Tony Stewart grabs the pole for the Duck Commander 500 at Texas

Photo by Boyd Adams, Courtesy of
Tony Stewart has great timing and a fast racecar. Put the two together, and he's magic. Smoke waited until literally the last possible minute to make his run for the top starting spot in the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. He slipped past Brad Keselowski as time expired in the final session, earning his 15th career pole and first this season.

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
"This is the first time I've been able to do something impressive for the team and I'm excited about that," said Stewart.

"Tony's on his game. It's qualifying day and he's on the pole," said Kevin Harvick of his teammate and boss. Harvick starts third despite having put down a track record 198.282 mph in the first session. By comparison, Stewart's pole-winning lap was just 195.454, topping Keselowski's lap by .035 mph.

Greg Biffle ran fastest in the second segment but will start fourth in front of teammate Carl Edwards.

Filling out the top 12 are Denny Hamlin, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Gordon. Busch is in backup car after a crash in practice on Friday.

Weather nearly played a part in qualifying, with raindrops misting the track. Certainly the 55° temperature affected the speeds.

Full starting lineup:

Tony Stewart
2Brad Keselowski
3Kevin Harvick
4Greg Biffle
5Carl Edwards
6Denny Hamlin
7Trevor Bayne
8Ryan Newman
9Marcos Ambrose
10Joey Logano
11Kurt Busch
12Jeff Gordon
13Paul Menard
14Kyle Larson
15Jamie McMurray
16Jimmie Johnson
17Aric Almirola
18Martin Truex Jr
19Dale Earnhardt Jr
20Austin Dillon
21Casey Mears
22Justin Allgaier
23Brian Vickers
24Danica Patrick
25Clint Bowyer
26Matt Kenseth
27Michael Annett
28Michael McDowell
29Kyle Busch
30Alex Bowman
31Ricky Stenhouse Jr
32Kasey Kahne
33AJ Allmendinger
34David Reutimann
35Dave Blaney
36Parker Kligerman
37Travis Kvapil
38Reed Sorenson
39David Gilliland
40Landon Cassill
41Josh Wise
42Cole Whitt
43David Ragan
Tony Stewart grabs the pole for the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Tony Stewart grabs the pole for the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Saturday, April 05, 2014 Rating: 5