NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed his first pole position in the series at Atlanta.
Unlike most rivals, Stenhouse chose to run low on the racetrack for his pole shot. The tactic paid off as he usurped Roush Fenway team-mate Carl Edwards with a 189.688mph/29.227sec lap, taking pole by a tenth of a second.
On the day that his Earnhardt Ganassi replacement was revealed as Kyle Larson, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified third fastest. Denny Hamlin joins him on row two, followed by Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr., who is driving with a fractured wrist this weekend. Championship leader Jimmie Johnson starts 10th.
After his run of strong qualifying results, Kurt Busch could only manage 32nd this time.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 29.227s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 29.330s +0.103s 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 29.405s +0.178s 4. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.406s +0.179s 5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.481s +0.254s 6. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.492s +0.265s 7. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 29.499s +0.272s 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 29.565s +0.338s 9. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 29.570s +0.343s10. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 29.572s +0.345s11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 29.580s +0.353s12. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 29.616s +0.389s13. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Toyota 29.646s +0.419s14. David Ragan Front Row Ford 29.658s +0.431s15. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 29.689s +0.462s16. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 29.699s +0.472s17. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.714s +0.487s18. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 29.719s +0.492s19. Casey Mears Germain Ford 29.731s +0.504s20. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 29.760s +0.533s21. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.789s +0.562s22. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 29.829s +0.602s23. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 29.851s +0.624s24. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 29.872s +0.645s25. David Stremme Swan Toyota 29.903s +0.676s26. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 29.914s +0.687s27. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 29.929s +0.702s28. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 29.957s +0.730s29. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 29.986s +0.759s30. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 30.011s +0.784s31. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 30.045s +0.818s32. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 30.049s +0.822s33. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 30.072s +0.845s34. David Reutimann BK Toyota 30.175s +0.948s35. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 30.337s +1.110s36. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 30.392s +1.165s37. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 30.426s +1.199s38. Mike Bliss Phoenix Chevrolet 30.473s +1.246s39. Landon Cassill Hillman Chevrolet 30.550s +1.323s40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 30.593s +1.366s41. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 30.863s +1.636s42. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 30.994s +1.767s43. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford