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Kenseth snags the pole in Fontana; Bowyer qualifies 5th

By Heather Williams, hwilliams@kwch.com
Published On: Mar 22 2014 01:20:50 AM CDT

NASCAR via Getty Images

Matt Kenseth has never considered himself a good qualifier, but on Friday at the Auto Club Speedway he won his fourth pole since joining Joe Gibbs Racing last year. This marks his first pole of 2014, but Kenseth is a three time winner in Fontana.

“We unloaded and had some really good speed,” said Kenseth. “We worked on race trim a little bit.  It wasn’t driving quite like we hoped, but we did have some really good speed and that translated into qualifying trim.  They gave me the car and really all I did was not mess it up, so they did a great job and glad we got it.”

The new qualifying format has been a mixed bag for Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who spent time between practice and qualifying watching his favorite team the Kansas Jayhawks win in the NCAA Tournament. Bowyer had his best qualifying effort of the season and will start fifth on Sunday. Not quite the pole, but fast none the less.

“Yeah, just came up a little short,” said Bowyer. “You’ve got what you’ve got when you get out there.  Obviously there was a couple adjustments you can make there It was fast off the truck again.  We need a good run here at this really fun race track.  It’s neat to see Matt (Kenseth) win the pole.”

Starting on the front row with Kenseth will be Brad Keselowski. Jimmie Johnson, who has five wins at Auto Club Speedway will start third and Kevin Harvick fourth when the green flag falls on Sunday.

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