Matt Kenseth edged Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards to earn the pole Friday during qualifying for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Kenseth was the only driver to exceed 197 mph, with a qualifying effort of 197.488 mph, nearly 10 mph off the track qualifying record set by Jeff Gordon in June 2014.
Hamlin was second-fastest (196.990 mph), followed by Edwards (196.276), Austin Dillon (195.918), Tony Stewart (195.477) and the fourth JGR driver, Kyle Busch (195.450), was sixth-fastest.
It’s Kenseth’s third pole of the season and 16th of his Sprint Cup career. It’s also his best career start in 33 races at Michigan (previous best start was second in August 2011).
It also is the first time that JGR drivers have qualified 1-2-3 in a Sprint Cup race.