DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will start from the pole Saturday night in the Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400, where he'll try to pull off a season sweep at Daytona International Speedway.
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.
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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, which would boost aerodynamics.
Stewart, the three-time series champion, will start in the back of Saturday night's Sprint Cup race.
Stewart's teammate, Ryan Newman, qualified third at 192.353.
"I think the biggest advantage of us qualifying well is we've got a better chance of missing whatever happens," Newman said. "If there's a crash early in the race, there's a better chance of it being behind us."
Kasey Kahne qualified fourth and was followed by Greg Biffle, Kenseth's teammate.
Crashes mar Nationwide
Kurt Busch won a wild Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway Friday night, holding off three challengers over the final hundred yards of the Subway Jalapeno 250 in a battered race car.
Busch's victory was his second this season, each with different teams. He won for his brother, Kyle Busch Motorsports, at Richmond earlier in the year. He took the checkered flag for Phoenix Racing Friday.
The race had several crashes that left less than half the field on the lead lap for a green-white-checkered finish. Busch started the two-lap sprint pushing Austin Dillon, but made a move to the front with a lap left and then held off Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael Annett and Dillon as they neared the finish line.
Stenhouse was second, followed by Annett, Dillon and Joey Logano.
Asked how he did it, Busch said "It's just passion and heart, that's all I can give."
Danica Patrick was involved in one of the wrecks and finished 31st.
Dillon penalized again
Austin Dillon could be in line for another penalty.
Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet failed a post-qualifying inspection at Daytona International Speedway on Friday after NASCAR officials found an open cooling hose in the cockpit.
The announcement came after Dillon claimed the pole for Friday night's race. It also came four days after NASCAR penalized Dillon because his car failed inspection following his victory last week at Kentucky. Dillon was docked six points in the standings Monday, dropping him from the top spot.
After Dillon's time was disqualified Friday, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned the pole.