AUDIO/QUALIFYING: Penske Fords Remain Fast; Logano Takes 30th Career XFINITY Series Pole at Watkins Glen

Kyle Magda Audio, NASCAR, Northeast 0 Comments

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Audio and report by Race Chaser Online Associate Editor Kyle Magda — Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America photo —

The only dent in Joey Logano’s perfect weekend so far came prior to Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series time trials.

Since turning the second-fastest time in NXS final practice, Logano has been unchallenged since, sweeping both rounds of Coors Light Pole Qualifying to grab the pole for Saturday’s Zippo 200.

Logano put up a lap of 70.953 seconds (124.308 mph) in scoring his 30th career NXS pole, tied with Mark Martin for second on the all-time series pole winners’ list. The effort gives the Middletown, Conn. driver a clear view out the windshield once the green flag drops.

Penske Racing Fords have been quick all weekend and the speed stayed through qualifying, with the team sweeping the front row at Watkins Glen for the second straight year. Logano ran over four tenths faster than teammate Brad Keselowski in the last round.

Defending pole winner Keselowski swapped positions with his teammate this time around, as the 2012 Cup champion starts alongside the No. 12 Snap-On Tools Ford. The 2013 Watkins Glen race winner turned the second-fastest time (71.355 seconds) in the final session of qualifying.

“It was a decent run,” Keselowski said. “Both Penske cars are really fast, similar to last year. We just got to finish it out and make it out and ready to go race.”

Starting behind the two Penske cars is defending series champion Chase Elliott, who rolls off from third. Elliott was quickest among the series regulars at 71.405 seconds (123.512 mph).

“I felt like I had a pretty good lap going and I messed up the bus stop pretty bad,” Elliott said. “I wish I had put it all together, but third-place is a good starting spot and hopefully we can try to move forward from there.”

Kyle Larson and XFINITY points leader Chris Buescher rounded out the top-five. Larson was fastest in final NXS practice yesterday and second-fastest in final Cup practice behind Jeff Gordon.

Ty Dillon, Boris Said, Regan Smith, Brian Scott and Paul Menard complete the top-10, with Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez also making the final round of qualifying. Suarez wrecked in first NXS practice Friday and went to a back-up car for today’s action.

Larson was one of five drivers running double-duty this weekend to make the top-12 in the final round, while Buescher and Sadler were the only Roush-Fenway Racing drivers to make the final session.

The final few minutes of the first round kept everyone on the edge of their seats, as drivers kept going in-and-out of the top-12 before the red-and-black flags were displayed. Brendan Gaughan turned the third-fastest lap in final practice Friday, but barely missed the cut after being knocked out by Ty Dillon and will start 13th.

Other notables who missed the final round include JR Motorsports driver Ben Rhodes, who rolls off from 14th in his series road-course debut; Darrell Wallace Jr. (16th); Kenny Habul (18th); and Daytona winner Ryan Reed, who qualified a disappointing 23rd.

Morgan Shepherd was the lone car of the 41 machines signed in that failed to qualify for the event.

The green flag for the Zippo 200 drops shortly after 3 p.m. ET, with live coverage on NBC Sports Network.


Audio with second-place qualifier Brad Keselowski:

Audio with third-place qualifier Chase Elliott:


RESULTS: NASCAR XFINITY Series; Zippo 200; Coors Light Pole Qualifying; August 8, 2015

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Chris Buescher
  6. Ty Dillon
  7. Boris Said
  8. Regan Smith
  9. Brian Scott
  10. Paul Menard
  11. Elliott Sadler
  12. Daniel Suarez
  13. Brendan Gaughan
  14. Ben Rhodes
  15. Jeremy Clements
  16. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  17. J.J. Yeley
  18. Kenny Habul
  19. Brandon Gdovic
  20. Ross Chastain
  21. Michael Self
  22. Ryan Sieg
  23. Ryan Reed
  24. Dakoda Armstrong
  25. Cale Conley
  26. Landon Cassill
  27. Eric McClure
  28. Peyton Sellers
  29. Blake Koch
  30. Jeff Green
  31. Todd Bodine
  32. Tomy Drissi
  33. Kevin O’Connell
  34. David Starr
  35. T.J. Bell
  36. Ryan Ellis
  37. Joey Gase
  38. Derrike Cope
  39. Bobby Reuse
  40. John Wes Townley

DNQ: Morgan Shepherd

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