NASCAR Richmond 2013 qualifying results: Kenseth wins pole amid controversy

Robert Laberge

In a week filled with controversy, Matt Kenseth won the pole in NASCAR qualifying Friday at Richmond.

Two days after NASCAR disallowed his pole award from Kansas, Matt Kenseth responded in the best way possible.

With a lap that broke the previous track-record, Kenseth topped 42 other drivers Friday to win the pole for Saturday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

In a way it was almost poetic justice following NASCAR's decision to impose major sanctions on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for having an illegal engine part.

For Kenseth, more than anything, it was welcome news after a week which started out promising with a victory at Kansas turned sour with Wednesday's announcement that he was docked 50 points. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended six point races in addition to numerous other penalties.

Kenseth will share the front row with his JGR teammate Brian Vickers, who held the track record before Kenseth's pole-winning run Friday. Vickers is filling in for an injured Denny Hamlin, who is still recuperating from a back injury suffered March 24.

Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five qualifiers.

Having won the previous four Richmond spring races, the third JGR car driven by Kyle Busch entered the weekend as the prohibitive favorite. He did nothing to dispel that belief in qualifying, posting the eighth-fastest time in time trials.

Complete Toyota Owners 400 Starting Lineup:

1) Matt Kenseth

2) Brian Vickers

3) Jeff Gordon

4) Kasey Kahne

5) Clint Bowyer

6) Juan Pablo Montoya

7) Joey Logano

8) Kyle Busch

9) Martin Truex Jr.

10) Mark Martin

11) Marcos Ambrose

12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

13) Jamie McMurray

14) Kurt Busch

15) Ryan Newman

16) Jeff Burton

17) Kevin Harvick

18) Dave Blaney

19) Dale Earnhardt Jr.

20) David Ragan

21) Tony Stewart

22) David Reutimann

23) Brad Keselowski

24) AJ Allmendinger

25) David Stremme

26) Jimmie Johnson

27) Josh Wise

28) Carl Edwards

29) Paul Menard

30) Danica Patrick

31) Landon Cassill

32) Bobby Labonte

33) Greg Biffle

34) Aric Almirola

35) Michael McDowell

36) Travis Kvapil

37) David Gilliland

38) Mike Bliss

39) JJ Yeley

40) Casey Mears

41) Joe Nemechek

42) Timmy Hill

43) Brian Keselowski

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