Kenseth, in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing after having driven for the Roush team for 13 seasons, turned a lap around the 1.5-mile track in 191.864 miles per hour. It was his ninth career pole and his first since last July.
Carl Edwards, who was quickest in practice earlier in the day, qualified second with a lap of 191.748 mph.
Qualifying records have been broken at four tracks this year, the first for the Sprint Cup's Gen-6 race car.
Ricky Stenhouse, Sam Hornish and Kyle Bush rounded out the first five qualifiers, followed by Aric Almirola, Martin Truex, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Clint Boyer. Jeff Gordon crashed during his qualifying attempt and will have to start at the back of the 43-car field.
Danica Patrick qualified 25th, which will be her best start since she won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500 two months ago.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]