Matt Kenseth smiles Friday after winning the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo)
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season-ending and championship-deciding race.
It was a massive turnaround for Kenseth following his worst performance of the season last week at Phoenix. He finished 23rd to fall 28 points behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson leading into the finale.
Now he’s got his third pole of the season and will start in front of Johnson Sunday.
Johnson qualified seventh. But he needs only to finish 23rd or higher to win his sixth championship.
Kevin Harvick is the only other driver mathematically eligible to win the title and goes into the race 34 points behind Johnson. He qualified one spot ahead of Johnson in sixth.