Stewart Storms To Texas Pole

by April 5, 2014

Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH, Texas. — Tony Stewart will lead the field to the green flag for the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday after a blistering lap of 195.454 mph at the Texas Motor Speedway set in Saturday’s qualifying session.

Stewart earned his 15th career Coors Light Pole Award with his lap, breaking a drought of 38 races without a pole position. This is his second career Sprint Cup pole at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Three Stewart-Haas Chevrolets were able to make it to the third round of knockout qualifying. Kevin Harvick will start in the third position while last week’s Martinsville winner, Kurt Busch, qualified in the 11th-position but will start from the rear of the field in a backup car after a hard crash in Friday’s practice.

Ford had an impressive performance in qualifying with six of the 12 spots in the final round of qualifying being occupied by a Ford Fusion. Brad Keselowski held the pole in his No. 2 Miller Lite Fusion until the final seconds of the session when Stewart nipped him by eight-thousandths of a second. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, also made it to the final round of qualifying – qualifying 10th. Logano is the only driver in the field to make every final qualifying round thus far this season.

The Toyota teams did not have a great qualifying day, Denny Hamlin was the sole Camry to make it into the third and final round of qualifying. Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch were unable to advance from the first round. Brian Vickers in a Michael Waltrip Racing-owned Camry was the second quickest Toyota, qualifying in 23rd-position.

Kyle Larson will be the highest-starting rookie for Sunday’s race, Larson will start from the 14th-position.

Not qualifying for the race were David Stremme, Ryan Truex, Joe Nemechek, and J.J. Yeley.

Of 26 races in Fort Worth, the pole winner has gone on to win the race three times, the last time being in this race last season. Stewart is a two-time Texas winner with both of his victories at the track coming from a top-eight starting position.

The Duck Commander 500 will air live on FOX tomorrow with coverage beginning at 3 p.m ET.

Top-10 Starting Positions for the Duck Commander 500

  1. 14 – Tony Stewart – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing | 195.454 mph | 27.628 seconds | Leader
  2. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske | 195.397 mph | 27.636 seconds | +0.008
  3. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing | 195.312 mph | 27.648 seconds | +0.020
  4. 16 – Greg Biffle – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing | 194.700 mph | 27.735 seconds | +0.107
  5. 99 – Carl Edwards – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing | 194.637 mph | 27.744 seconds | +0.116
  6. 11 – Denny Hamlin – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing | 194.623 mph | 27.746 seconds | +0.118
  7. 21 – Trevor Bayne(i) – Ford – Wood Brothers Racing | 194.503 mph | 27.763 seconds | +0.135
  8. 31 – Ryan Newman – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing | 194.140 mph | 27.815 seconds | +0.187
  9. 9 – Marcos Ambrose – Ford – Richard Petty Motorsports | 194.063 mph | 27.826 seconds | +0.198
  10. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske | 193.743 mph | 27.872 seconds | +0.244

(i) = Ineligible for Sprint Cup Series points.