Matt Kenseth wins pole at Daytona

Associated Press Modified: July 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: July 6, 2012
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will start from the pole Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, where he'll try to pull off a season sweep.

No driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 has won both NASCAR races at Daytona in the same season, but Kenseth thinks he has a good chance. The restrictor-plate package at Roush Fenway Racing is powerful, and its engines have been strong all season: Roush driver Carl Edwards opened the season by winning the pole for the Daytona 500.

"That'd be pretty cool," Kenseth said about tying Allison. "I never thought, especially early in my career the way speedway went and I don't feel like I'm particularly good at it and never thought I'd be able to win. So it's pretty neat. Certainly I think for our team, our confidence is high."

Kenseth turned a lap at 192.386 mph Friday in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford to earn the top starting spot. It's the first pole of the season for the series points leader, and his first pole in 26 races at Daytona.

Tony Stewart was second, turning a lap at 192.361 in a Chevrolet, but his time was thrown out by NASCAR after the session. NASCAR said an open cooling hose was found pointed inside the cockpit — the same violation discovered earlier Friday after Austin Dillon's pole-winning run in the Nationwide Series.

Dillon had to forfeit his pole and will start at the back of the field in Friday night's race. Stewart, the three-time series champion, will start in the back of Saturday night's Sprint Cup race.

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