Brad Keselowski Wins Michigan Cup Series Pole

Brad Keselowski
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The last qualifier in Friday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series time trials at Michigan International Speedway will be first to the green flag on Sunday afternoon.

The final driver to make an attempt, after shadows started to shroud the track, Brad Keselowski covered the 2.0-mile distance in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford in 37.801 seconds (190.471 mph) to knock Kevin Harvick off the provisional pole for Sunday's Consumers Energy 400.

Harvick had turned a lap in 37.877 seconds (190.089 mph) before Keselowski made it an all-Ford front row with his blistering circuit. The Busch Pole Award is Keselowski's second of the season, his second at Michigan and the 16th of his career.

Keselowski grew up in Rochester Hills, Mich., and the pole is the first step toward winning for the first time at his home track.

"The Discount Tire Ford Mustang has been incredible since we unloaded," Keselowski said. "We were really fast in practice, and then everybody started picking up a bunch toward the end of qualifying, and I got a little nervous.

"But (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and the team did a great job. We picked up just enough to get our second pole here. Hopefully, we can convert it into a win."

To do so, Keselowski will have to be fast in race trim as well. With Michigan being the last non-impound event for the higher-downforce, lower-horsepower competition package introduced this season, crew chiefs have considerably more latitude in preparing the cars specifically for qualifying and then making wholesale changes for the race.

"There's a lot you can do to optimize the car for today (in qualifying) that maybe won't carry over to Sunday," Keselowski said. "But still, it's good to be starting first, and I think we've got a lot of knobs to get her tuned in for the race."

Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron (189.703 mph) and Alex Bowman (189.509 mph) claimed the third and fourth starting spots, respectively. Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott, last Sunday's winner at Watkins Glen, will occupy the fifth and sixth positions on the grid.

Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10 in time trials. Denny Hamlin was 14th in the fastest Toyota with a lap at 188.093 mph.

Harvick was pleased with his second-place qualifying effort.

"It was a good day for our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang," he said. "Track position is really important everywhere we go. Coming to Michigan, it is of the utmost importance, so this is a really good start to the weekend for us."

Bowyer is 15th in the standings, 12 points ahead of Johnson and Ryan Newman, who are currently tied for the last available spot in the Cup Series Playoffs. Newman qualified 20th, 10 positions behind Johnson.

Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric posted the seventh and 11th fastest laps in qualifying, but their times were disallowed post-inspection because the cars were not running fully functioning alternators, as prescribed by NASCAR rules.

Dillon and Hemric will start from the rear of the field on provisionals.


Pos # Driver Sponsor/Make Lap Speed
1 2 Brad Keselowski Discount Tire Ford 37.801 190.471
2 4 Kevin Harvick Mobil 1 Ford 37.877 190.089
3 24 William Byron Liberty University Chevrolet 37.954 189.703
4 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 37.993 189.509
5 14 Clint Bowyer One Cure Ford 38.007 189.439
6 9 Chase Elliott NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet 38.018 189.384
7 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Moen Ford 38.035 189.299
8 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 38.044 189.255
9 21 Paul Menard MasterTechs/QuickLaneTire&AutoCenter Ford 38.076 189.095
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 38.117 188.892
11 41 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Ford 38.204 188.462
12 10 Aric Almirola 3D Systems Ford 38.219 188.388
13 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 38.222 188.373
14 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 38.279 188.093
15 19 Martin Truex Jr Auto-Owners Insurance/MTJ 500th Start 38.316 187.911
16 20 Erik Jones DeWalt Toyota 38.323 187.877
17 42 Kyle Larson McDonald's Chevrolet 38.385 187.573
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fastenal Ford 38.398 187.51
19 36 Matt Tifft # Meijer Ford 38.439 187.31
20 6 Ryan Newman Wyndham Rewards Ford 38.527 186.882
21 13 Ty Dillon K&L Ready Mix Chevrolet 38.585 186.601
22 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 38.595 186.553
23 34 Michael McDowell Long John Silver's Ford 38.698 186.056
24 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford 38.79 185.615
25 37 Chris Buescher Kroger Fast Start Chevrolet 38.854 185.309
26 43 Bubba Wallace Victory Junction Chevrolet 38.863 185.266
27 95 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota 38.902 185.08
28 0 Landon Cassill(i) StarCom Fiber/Creek Enterprise Inc Chevrolet 38.922 184.985
29 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 39.121 184.044
30 15 Ross Chastain(i) Chevrolet 39.594 181.846
31 32 Corey LaJoie Schuler Systems Ford 39.727 181.237
32 27 Quin Houff Chevrolet 40.004 179.982
33 52 Austin Theriault BANGOR BANK Ford 40.133 179.403
34 51 Cody Ware(i) JACOB COMPANIES Ford 40.135 179.395
35 77 Reed Sorenson VictoryLaneQuickOilChange/Kendall Chevrolet 40.319 178.576
36 53 Spencer Boyd(i) CHELLE CORPORATION Ford 41.477 173.59
37 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 0 0
38 8 Daniel Hemric # Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 0 0

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