Avondale, AZ – Matt Kenseth won the pole for Sunday's Kobalt two drivers in Sprint Cup Series points, grabbed the eighth and ninth starting positions, respectively, in qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kenseth, the second-to-last driver to make his qualifying attempt in the 46- car field, turned a lap at 137.101 mph around the newly repaved and reconfigured one-mile track. The Roush Fenway Racing driver claimed his third pole of the season and the seventh of his Sprint Cup career.
"The car had a lot of grip, and I thought it was really good in [turns] three and four," Kenseth said. "These guys have done a great job. I'm certainly not known for being a good qualifier. My cars have been really fast. [Crew chief] Jimmy [Fennig] and this whole team have done a really good job giving me fast race cars this year."
A.J. Allmendinger earned the outside pole with his lap at 136.446 mph. It's the third front row appearance for Allmendinger in four races at Phoenix. His Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose, qualified third.
The new racing surface at Phoenix has made it very challenging for teams so far this weekend. In practices and qualifying, drivers have dealt with loose race cars, and track conditions have rapidly changed throughout the day.
"I hope it stays like it is right now to be honest," Stewart said. "I feel like we're better in this scenario than the other guys. It is a fine line, but at the same time, it makes the drivers do their job, and that's what I like."
Edwards enters the season's penultimate race with just a three-point lead over Stewart, who has won the last two races -- Martinsville and Phoenix. Edwards won last year's fall event at Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick will start 27th. Harvick is currently 33 points behind Edwards. Kenseth trails his Roush Fenway teammate by 38 points.
In his first race back since being suspended from last Sunday's event at Texas, Kyle Busch qualified 34th -- the worst among the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field. Busch will have to start from the rear of the field in the 312-lap race due to an engine change his team made during Friday's practice sessions.
The race is scheduled to start just after 3:00 p.m. (et).