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Atlanta: Cup qualifying

NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has claimed his first series pole position, with Carl Edwards making it a Roush Fenway Racing front row lock-out at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start from pole position for Sunday's AdvoCare 500 night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, after he posted a time of 29.227s (189.688mph) late in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying on Friday at the 1.54-mile superspeedway.

It's the 25-year-old's first pole position in Cup racing in his 30th series start and his rookie season in the championship. He'll start alongside his more experienced Roush Fenway Racing team mate Carl Edwards, who ended up a tenth of a second slower than Stenhouse in his run.

Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed third spot for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, on the day that his successor in the #42 car for 2014 had been unveiled as 21-year-old Nationwide Series rookie Kyle Larson. (See separate story.)

The track had grown faster and faster as the evening wore on and the conditions grew cooler. That meant that early pace setter Kyle Busch was ultimately pushed down to ninth place by the succession of increasingly fast laps as the track gained grip. Busch had eventually been deposed by his Joe Gibbs Racing team mate Denny Hamlin, who ended up in fourth place on the final grid behind Montoya.

That's despite Hamlin revealing earlier on Friday that he had been injured in the same wreck that broke Martin Truex Jr.'s wrist last weekend at Bristol. The driver told SiriusXM/NASCAR that his hand had been trapped in the steering wheel during his late-race accident in the night event and that he's wearing a splint on his thumb for this week's track activity in Atlanta.

"I couldn't get my finger out of the wheel quick enough before it spun, and it obviously took some ligaments with it," Hamlin said. "I feel this pain, and it's going to be tough. I tested on Monday and Tuesday at Chicago, and I couldn't put my thumb on the wheel."

Hamlin was quick to say that it was no where near as serious as Truex's injury and that it was just a bad sprain. The thumb, currently black and blue from bruising, should heal in about two weeks. It's the latest setback for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver in 2013 after he missed three races after Easter because of an injury to his back in a wreck at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California at the end of March which effectively ruined his hopes of making this year's Chase.

Truex himself ended up in seventh place at the end of qualifying. All 43 cars entered for the race made it onto the grid for Sunday's race. Mike Bliss - standing in for the injured Bobby Labonte at short notice - put the #51 Phoenix Racing car into 38th place in the speed trials.

Qualifying times

1. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 29.227s (Pole) 189.688mph
2. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 29.330s (+ 0.103s) 189.021mph
3. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 29.405s (+ 0.178s) 188.539mph
4. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 29.406s (+ 0.179s) 188.533mph
5. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 29.481s (+ 0.254s) 188.053mph
6. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 29.492s (+ 0.265s) 187.983mph
7. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 29.499s (+ 0.272s) 187.939mph
8. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 29.565s (+ 0.338s) 187.519mph
9. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 29.570s (+ 0.343s) 187.487mph
10. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 29.572s (+ 0.345s) 187.475mph
11. #22 Joey Logano Ford 29.580s (+ 0.353s) 187.424mph
12. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 29.616s (+ 0.389s) 187.196mph
13. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 29.646s (+ 0.419s) 187.007mph
14. #34 David Ragan Ford 29.658s (+ 0.431s) 186.931mph
15. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 29.689s (+ 0.462s) 186.736mph
16. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 29.699s (+ 0.472s) 186.673mph
17. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 29.714s (+ 0.487s) 186.579mph
18. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 29.719s (+ 0.492s) 186.547mph
19. #13 Casey Mears Ford 29.731s (+ 0.504s) 186.472mph
20. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 29.760s (+ 0.533s) 186.290mph
21. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 29.789s (+ 0.562s) 186.109mph
22. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 29.829s (+ 0.602s) 185.859mph
23. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 29.851s (+ 0.624s) 185.722mph
24. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 29.872s (+ 0.645s) 185.592mph
25. #30 David Stremme Toyota 29.903s (+ 0.676s) 185.399mph
26. #33 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 29.914s (+ 0.687s) 185.331mph
27. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 29.929s (+ 0.702s) 185.238mph
28. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 29.957s (+ 0.730s) 185.065mph
29. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 29.986s (+ 0.759s) 184.886mph
30. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 30.011s (+ 0.784s) 184.732mph
31. #38 David Gilliland Ford 30.045s (+ 0.818s) 184.523mph
32. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 30.049s (+ 0.822s) 184.499mph
33. #35 Josh Wise Ford 30.072s (+ 0.845s) 184.358mph
34. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 30.175s (+ 0.948s) 183.728mph
35. #95 Scott Speed Ford 30.337s (+ 1.110s) 182.747mph
36. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 30.392s (+ 1.165s) 182.416mph
37. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 30.426s (+ 1.199s) 182.213mph
38. #51 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 30.473s (+ 1.246s) 181.932mph
39. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 30.550s (+ 1.323s) 181.473mph
40. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 30.593s (+ 1.366s) 181.218mph
41. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 30.863s (+ 1.636s) 179.633mph
42. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 30.994s (+ 1.767s) 178.873mph
43. #98 Michael McDowell Ford No time

Practice 1 times

1. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 29.168s (Leader) 190.071mph (26 laps)
2. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 29.294s (-0.126s) 189.254mph (14 laps)
3. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 29.456s (-0.288s) 188.213mph (20 laps)
4. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 29.482s (-0.314s) 188.047mph (18 laps)
5. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 29.491s (-0.323s) 187.990mph (24 laps)
6. #22 Joey Logano Ford 29.591s (-0.423s) 187.354mph (26 laps)
7. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 29.600s (-0.432s) 187.297mph (11 laps)
8. #14 Mark Martin Chevrolet 29.610s (-0.442s) 187.234mph (20 laps)
9. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 29.619s (-0.451s) 187.177mph (16 laps)
10. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 29.633s (-0.465s) 187.089mph (20 laps)
11. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 29.647s (-0.479s) 187.000mph (30 laps)
12. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 29.693s (-0.525s) 186.711mph (24 laps)
13. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 29.780s (-0.612s) 186.165mph (14 laps)
14. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 29.799s (-0.631s) 186.047mph (13 laps)
15. #55 Brian Vickers Toyota 29.806s (-0.638s) 186.003mph (17 laps)
16. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 29.814s (-0.646s) 185.953mph (9 laps)
17. #47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota 29.824s (-0.656s) 185.891mph (22 laps)
18. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 29.843s (-0.675s) 185.772mph (8 laps)
19. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 29.858s (-0.690s) 185.679mph (11 laps)
20. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 29.911s (-0.743s) 185.350mph (32 laps)
21. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 29.918s (-0.750s) 185.307mph (23 laps)
22. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 29.920s (-0.752s) 185.294mph (22 laps)
23. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 29.926s (-0.758s) 185.257mph (7 laps)
24. #51 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 29.936s (-0.768s) 185.195mph (10 laps)
25. #30 David Stremme Toyota 30.006s (-0.838s) 184.763mph (11 laps)
26. #38 David Gilliland Ford 30.031s (-0.863s) 184.609mph (20 laps)
27. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 30.044s (-0.876s) 184.529mph (17 laps)
28. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 30.048s (-0.880s) 184.505mph (26 laps)
29. #34 David Ragan Ford 30.054s (-0.886s) 184.468mph (24 laps)
30. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 30.120s (-0.952s) 184.064mph (7 laps)
31. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 30.176s (-1.008s) 183.722mph (7 laps)
32. #33 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 30.205s (-1.037s) 183.546mph (14 laps)
33. #13 Casey Mears Ford 30.276s (-1.108s) 183.115mph (13 laps)
34. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 30.304s (-1.136s) 182.946mph (13 laps)
35. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 30.348s (-1.180s) 182.681mph (2 laps)
36. #35 Josh Wise Ford 30.556s (-1.388s) 181.437mph (4 laps)
37. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 30.636s (-1.468s) 180.964mph (11 laps)
38. #95 Scott Speed Ford 30.683s (-1.515s) 180.686mph (6 laps)
39. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 30.704s (-1.536s) 180.563mph (5 laps)
40. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 30.715s (-1.547s) 180.498mph (14 laps)
41. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 30.848s (-1.680s) 179.720mph (7 laps)
42. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 31.108s (-1.940s) 178.218mph (8 laps)
43. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 31.138s (-1.970s) 178.046mph (6 laps)



Related Pictures

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the garage at Daytona - 22 February 2013. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #88 National Guard ‘Race To Achieve’ Chevrolet SS qualified eighth Friday, August 30, 2013 for the Advocare 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Earnhardt, Jr. is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevrolet SS qualified tenth Friday, August 30, 2013 for the Advocare 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified fifth Friday, August 30, 2013 for the Advocare 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Gordon is 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified third Friday, August 30, 2013 for the Advocare 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Montoya is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, climbs from his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2013 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Ford during practice at Bristol Motor Speedway - 15 Mach 2013. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Best Buy Ford, poses with the Coors Light pole award after posting the fastest lap during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2013 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #77 WORX Ford, prepares his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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