Dale Earnhardt Jr. held off NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Matt Kenseth to claim pole for Sunday’s Chase race at Dover.
Hendrick driver Earnhardt’s 22.243-second, 161.849mph lap was the latest in the string of new track records set by the Gen-6 cars this year. Kenseth, who has won the first two Chase events, was 0.006sec shy of beat Earnhardt in his Joe Gibbs Toyota.
Even by NASCAR short-track standards, the field was incredibly close, with the top 10 cars all within 0.089sec. Ryan Newman was third for Stewart-Haas, joined on row two by Carl Edwards in the best of the Fords for Roush Fenway.
Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski both had spells on provisional pole but ended up sharing row three, followed by Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
The race takes place on Sunday afternoon.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 22.243s 2. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 22.249s +0.006s 3. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 22.258s +0.015s 4. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 22.276s +0.033s 5. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 22.276s +0.033s 6. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 22.278s +0.035s 7. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 22.292s +0.049s 8. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 22.313s +0.070s 9. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 22.315s +0.072s10. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 22.332s +0.089s11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 22.357s +0.114s12. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 22.388s +0.145s13. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 22.397s +0.154s14. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 22.399s +0.156s15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 22.400s +0.157s16. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 22.407s +0.164s17. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Toyota 22.409s +0.166s18. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 22.422s +0.179s19. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 22.424s +0.181s20. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 22.448s +0.205s21. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 22.465s +0.222s22. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 22.486s +0.243s23. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 22.521s +0.278s24. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 22.550s +0.307s25. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 22.673s +0.430s26. Casey Mears Germain Ford 22.697s +0.454s27. David Ragan Front Row Ford 22.720s +0.477s28. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 22.747s +0.504s29. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 22.786s +0.543s30. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 22.795s +0.552s31. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 22.848s +0.605s32. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 22.850s +0.607s33. Cole Whitt Swan Toyota 22.881s +0.638s34. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 22.947s +0.704s35. Reed Sorenson Leavine Ford 22.975s +0.732s36. Ryan Truex Phoenix Chevrolet 22.982s +0.739s37. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 23.004s +0.761s38. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 23.047s +0.804s39. David Reutimann BK Toyota 23.137s +0.894s40. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 23.151s +0.908s41. Joe Nemecheck NEMCO Toyota 23.251s +1.008s42. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 23.297s +1.054s43. Tony Raines Hillman Chevrolet 23.445s +1.202s