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NASCAR's Matt Kenseth wins pole for Phoenix race

November 12, 2011 | 12:40 pm

Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix, while title contenders Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart qualified in the top 10.

KensethEdwards has a three-point lead over Stewart with two races left in the Cup season. Kevin Harvick is third, 33 points behind, and Kenseth is fourth, 38 points back.

Kenseth, who won the Cup title in 2003, turned the fastest lap in Saturday's qualifying with an average speed of 137.101 mph on the newly repaved, one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. A.J. Allmendinger qualified second at 136.446 mph.

Stewart will start eighth in the 43-car field and Edwards ninth. Harvick qualified 27th.

Kyle Busch, preparing for his first race since he was heavily penalized for intentionally wrecking another driver a week ago in a NASCAR Truck Series race, qualified 34th in the 43-car field.

But under NASCAR's rules, Busch will have to start at the rear Sunday because his Joe Gibbs Racing team needed to change the engine of his No. 18 Toyota during practice Friday.


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--Jim Peltz in Avondale, Ariz.

Photo: Matt Kenseth during practice Friday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Credit: Jennifer Stewart/US Presswire