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Matt Kenseth wins pole position for NASCAR race in Fontana

Auto RacingStock Car RacingJimmie JohnsonDale Earnhardt, Jr.Kevin HarvickJoe Gibbs RacingDenny Hamlin

Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race as NASCAR's new knockout-style qualifying format was used at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the first time.

Kenseth, a three-time winner at Fontana when he drove for Roush Fenway Racing, now drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. He turned a lap of 187.315 mph Friday on the two-mile Fontana oval in his No. 20 Toyota.

Brad Keselowski, who won two weeks ago in Las Vegas, qualified second in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford at 187.105 mph.

Five-time Fontana winner Jimmie Johnson qualified third. Kevin Harvick, who won in Phoenix earlier this month, was fourth and Clint Bowyer qualified fifth.

Under the new qualilfying format, all the cars qualified in the opening 25-minute session and the 24 fastest cars advanced to the 10-minute second round. The 12 fastest drivers in that round moved to the third and final session, which lasted five minutes.

Among the drivers who failed to reach the final round included Denny Hamlin (who qualified 13th), Kyle Busch (14th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (15th).

Many of the drivers ran only a single lap in each session because the Fontana track is particularly abrasive and the teams are allowed only one set of tires for qualifying.

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