NASCAR Sprint Cup: Keselowski Scores Knockout Pole at Phoenix

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, West 0 Comments

February 28, 2014 — staff report — Ford Racing photo — AVONDALE, AZ — Brad Keselowski became the first driver to win the Coors Light Pole Award under NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying format on Friday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, posting a top speed and track qualifying record of 139.384 mph.

The former Sprint Cup champ only ran five laps before settling on his final speed. This is Keselowski’s first pole win at Phoenix, and his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole award.

“I think you have to have a fast car, that’s the most important part either way,” said Keselowski post-qualifying. “Team Penske 1-2, that is a heck of a way to start what we think of as the regular season here at Phoenix.”

“I didn’t think I had the lap in me,” Keselowski added. “These guys (crew) gave me a heck of a car. They must have carried me.”

Joey Logano came in second by logging a speed of 139.265 mph.

Both Logano and Keselowski only ran two laps in the first round before settling on their positions of first and second, respectively.

Lining up third on Sunday will be Jamie McMurray who posted a quick lap of 138.969 mph. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will round out the top five in the starting grid.

After the first round of qualifying, the fastest 12 cars went on to qualify for the pole. In no particular order, those were: McMurray, Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola, Johnson and Earnhardt Jr.

Kevin Harvick finished 13th in round one and was not eligible to qualify in round two. Harvick will start the race from 13th in the field.

Sprint Cup Series rookie Justin Allgaier spun out roughly two minutes into round one of qualifying.

Landon Cassill, Dave Blaney and Josh Wise failed to qualify.

The Profit on CNBC 500, Presented by Small Business Fueling America will be on FOX at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 2.

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