Keselowski wins Kentucky pole, crushes track record

June 27, 2014 No Comments

BKKYBrian Wiggins, Senior Writer 

Since NASCAR introduced the new “knockout qualifying” format this season, seemingly no team has figured it out better than Team Penske.

Both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been among the best qualifiers in the Cup Series thus far, with Keselowski leading the series in most front-row starts.

It was no different Friday at Kentucky Speedway; a track that both Team Penske drivers have found success at in the past.

From the outset of round one, it was Logano leading the way, blistering the track record set one year ago by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Keselowksi wasn’t far behind his teammate, posting a top-five time in the first session.

Earnhardt Jr only posted the twenty-eighth-fastest time in the session, missing the second round of qualifying. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, was bumped from the top-twenty-four late and also failed to advance.

Team Penske once again dominated the second round of qualifying with Logano posting the fastest time. While the two Penske Fords were fast, the same could not be said about the Roush Fenway Fords, who all three missed the final round of qualifying and qualified no better than twenty-first (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.).

Logano set the fast time early in the final round, looking as though he was going to sweep the session. However, that was until Keselowski hit the 1.5-mile oval, blistering the track record set by his teammate earlier in the session and winning the pole for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400.

“I’m just thankful it didn’t rain,” Keselowski said after qualifying. “If you looked at the radar before qualifying, there was no way it wasn’t going to rain.”

Keselowski turned a lap averaging 188.791 mph to earn his third pole of the 2014 season, tying him with Kevin Harvick for the most this season.

For the first time since 2001, a Sprint Cup Series field will not yield forty-three cars. Xxxtreme Motorsports entered their No.44 Chevrolet, however withdrew the entry early Friday morning.

Quaker State 400 Starting Lineup 

1: Brad Keselowski

2: Joey Logano

3: Jeff Gordon

4: Denny Hamlin

5: Kevin Harvick

6: Kyle Larson

7: Ryan Newman

8: Jamie McMurray

9: Kurt Busch

10: Danica Patrick

11: Clint Bowyer

12: Paul Menard

13: Tony Stewart

14: Matt Kenseth

15: AJ Allmendinger

16: Austin Dillon

17: Brian Vickers

18: Kyle Busch

19: Martin Truex Jr.

20: Kasey Kahne

21: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

22: Aric Almirola

23: Carl Edwards

24: Greg Biffle

25: Jimmie Johnson

26: Casey Mears

27: Marcos Ambrose

28: Justin Allgaier

29: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

30: Cole Whitt

31: Reed Sorenson

32: Michael Annett

33: Alex Bowman

34: Josh Wise

35: Travis Kvapil

36: David Ragan

37: Landon Cassill

38: David Stremme

39: Ryan Truex

40: Joe Nemechek

41: David Gilliland

42: Mike Bliss

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