John Raoux Associated Press Matt Kenseth celebrates a productive Friday in Florida. His Nationwide Series victory follows a front-row qualifying spot for Sunday's race.

Kyle Busch, Kenseth give Gibbs front-row presence

Published: Saturday, Jul. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7C
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 - 7:29 am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth had two of the strongest cars in the season-opening Daytona 500 but had nothing to show for it following two engine failures.

The Joe Gibbs Racing duo is determined not to let that happen today in their return to Daytona International Speedway.

Busch and Kenseth swept the front row in Friday qualifying, with Busch turning a lap at 193.723 mph to win the pole. Kenseth was second at 193.299.

It's Busch's third pole of the season, 13th of his career, but it's his first ever for a restrictor plate race.

"I've not had many opportunities for me to win poles at restrictor plate races, so I've got to thank the team, all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing that did such a good job building a slick race car," Busch said. "It's a team effort coming to these places and having great race cars. I'm really excited to be starting up front, especially with my teammate Matt Kenseth on the front row with us."

Kenseth led 86 laps at Daytona in February, and was out front with teammates Busch and Denny Hamlin right behind him when his engine failed. Two laps later, Busch was headed to the garage with his own race-ending failure.

"We were lined up 1-2-3 when I broke, and Kyle broke shortly after that," said Kenseth. "Our plate stuff has been really fast this year. Qualifying doesn't always mean a lot at a superspeedway, but it's nice to start up front. Hopefully we can keep it up and stay in front of any potential trouble."

Clint Bowyer qualified third and Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. was fifth as Toyota drivers took four of the first five spots. MWR team co-owner Michael Waltrip was seventh.

Danica Patrick qualified 11th in her return to Daytona, where she became the first woman to start from the pole in the season-opening Daytona 500.

Nationwide Series in Daytona Beach – Kenseth added a Nationwide victory to his front-row qualifying spot in Sunday's Sprint Cup race. Kenseth was leading when the race resumed with two laps to go following a red-flag stoppage of nearly 10 minutes. James Buescher hooked onto Kenseth's back bumper, and the two broke away from the pack. Elliot Sadler finished third.

IndyCar in Long Pond, Pa. – Tony Kanaan is driving for more than another win at Pocono Raceway – he'd move one victory closer toward earning $1 million.

All Kanaan has to do is win at Pocono and Fontana to become the open-wheel series' Triple Crown winner. He won the first leg when he broke through for his first Indianapolis 500 victory in May. Sunday's race will be the first IndyCar at event at Pocono since Danny Sullivan won on Aug. 20, 1989.

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