Saturday, November 1, 2014

Matt Kenseth wins pole for AAA Texas 500, but Tony Stewart breaks record with 200 mph lap

credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs

Matt Kenseth's pole-winning lap was smoking fast at 199.299 mph, but it was Tony Stewart who laid down the first 200-mph lap at a 1.5 mile speedway in Sprint Cup history.

Several drivers were flirting with the 200 mph-mark during Friday's first round of qualifying for Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Early in the second round it became obvious that it wasn't a matter of if someone would hit 200, but who would be the one to do it.

With the sun going down and the North Texas air cooling, each lap was successively faster until conditions were perfect for Stewart's epic lap.

Just three weeks ago Stewart's SHR teammate Kurt Busch set a track record of 198.771 in the second round of qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway, to that point the fastest ever on a 1.5 mile track.

Because of tire falloff, speeds in the third round of qualifying at the Great American Speedway rarely match those of the second round, especially at a track that's as abrasive as Texas.

Lining up next to Kenseth, slower by .008 seconds, Jeff Gordon makes his eighth front row start of the season.  Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson starts third, next to Kurt Busch. Kevin Harvick, and boss Tony Stewart make up Row 3. Ryan Newman starts seventh, followed by Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

See the second race of the Eliminator Round on ESPN at 2 pm. CT.

Here's the full lineup:

Rank Driver Time Speed
1   Matt Kenseth 27.095   199.299  
2   Jeff Gordon 27.096   199.291  
3   Jimmie Johnson 27.138   198.983  
4   Kurt Busch 27.148   198.910  
5   Kevin Harvick 27.158   198.836  
6   Tony Stewart 27.203   198.508  
7   Ryan Newman 27.204   198.500  
8   Martin Truex, Jr. 27.218   198.398  
9   Kyle Busch 27.227   198.333  
10   Joey Logano 27.263   198.071  
11   Carl Edwards 27.267   198.042  
12   Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 27.308   197.744  
13   Brian Vickers 27.184   198.646  
14   Kasey Kahne 27.186   198.632  
15   Paul Menard 27.202   198.515  
16   Marcos Ambrose 27.205   198.493  
17   Kyle Larson 27.224   198.354  
18   Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 27.230   198.311  
19   Greg Biffle 27.255   198.129  
20   Denny Hamlin 27.304   197.773  
21   Jamie McMurray 27.307   197.751  
22   Aric Almirola 27.345   197.477  
23   A.J. Allmendinger 27.399   197.087  
24   Clint Bowyer 27.452   196.707  
25   Trevor Bayne 27.332   197.571  
26   Brad Keselowski 27.386   197.181  
27   Danica Patrick 27.436   196.822  
28   Michael McDowell 27.455   196.685  
29   Austin Dillon 27.462   196.635  
30   Justin Allgaier 27.497   196.385  
31   David Gilliland 27.500   196.364  
32   Reed Sorenson 27.553   195.986  
33   Michael Annett 27.586   195.751  
34   Landon Cassill 27.587   195.744  
35   Alex Bowman 27.599   195.659  
36   Josh Wise 27.621   195.503  
37   David Ragan 27.629   195.447   OP
38   Casey Mears 27.637   195.390   OP
39   J.J. Yeley 27.821   194.098   OP
40   Cole Whitt 27.998   192.871   OP
41   Brett Moffitt 28.013   192.768   OP
42   Timmy Hill 28.114   192.075   OP
43   Joey Gase 28.476   189.633   OP



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