Logano speeds to pole in Michigan

Joey Logano
Joey Logano

Joey Logano zoomed to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford to a best lap of 199.557 mph in the third and final session. The pole is Logano's second of the season, second at the 2-mile track and 16th of his Sprint Cup career. He won from the pole at Michigan in August of 2013.

Logano had settled for the second starting spot five times in 14 races this season.

"It just feels really good because the last couple of weeks we've come in second in the final round," Logano said. "We've been qualifying really well with this 22 car, we just haven't had the pole, so it's really nice to finally break through and get a pole with this new package. It really goes to show how great this Team Penske is on preparing cars from the shop and really not knowing what they're coming to. It has some great adjustability in it and a fast car, obviously."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]"Couldn't be more proud of the team with our qualifying efforts as of recently, it's just we finally won the right round — the last one."

Martin Truex Jr., the Coca-Cola 600 winner, will start second in Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 (1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) after posting a lap of 199.016 mph in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. Three-time series champion Tony Stewart was third, marking his best qualifying effort in seven races so far this season after returning in April from an offseason back injury.

Denny Hamlin (198.774 mph) and rookie Ryan Blaney (198.588 mph) rounded out the top five in qualifying.

The three rounds marked the first qualifying session under new aerodynamic rules designed to reduce downforce and sideforce. The pole-winning speed was well under the track record of 206.558 mph set by Jeff Gordon in August 2014.

Two former Michigan winners — Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. — failed to advance past the opening 20-minute round of group qualifying. Qualifying runs for Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet were twice interrupted by red flags — one for a stray duct left as debris early in the session by Jamie McMurray's car, and another for a crash with in Turn 3 by David Ragan with 4:21 left.

A third effort by Harvick was only 29th-fastest, just outside the 24-driver cut. Earnhardt managed only the 27th-fastest lap.

Kurt Busch, the defending race winner and last weekend's victor at Pocono, will start 17th after missing the 12-driver cut in the second round of qualifying. Denny Hamlin topped the first round, and Joey Logano paced the second round in the elimination-style qualifying session.

Qualifying was delayed by 15 minutes because of a backlog of cars trying to pass inspection. NASCAR competition officials said several teams struggled to comply with new rules regarding "skew," or rear-axle offset. Four drivers — Michael Annett, Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. — did not have cars present on the grid once qualifying got going at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Sunday's 400-mile event is the 15th of 36 races this year for the Sprint Cup Series.

Lineup

Pos. Car # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 199.557 36.08 Leader
2 78 Martin Truex Jr Toyota Furniture Row 199.016 36.178 0.098
3 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Rush Truck Centers / Mobil 1Chevrolet SS 198.95 36.19 0.11
4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Office 198.774 36.222 0.142
5 21 Ryan Blaney Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire + Auto Center 198.588 36.256 0.176
6 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Grainger 198.369 36.296 0.216
7 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target 198.194 36.328 0.248
8 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Dow Salutes Veterans 198.014 36.361 0.281
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's RWB 197.819 36.397 0.317
10 24 Chase Elliott Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 197.352 36.483 0.403
11 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Subway 196.549 36.632 0.552
12 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion 195.111 36.902 0.822
13 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 197.873 36.387 0.307
14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 197.753 36.409 0.329
15 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite 197.569 36.443 0.363
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Kobalt 197.498 36.456 0.376
17 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation / Monster Energy Chevrolet SS 197.179 36.515 0.435
18 16 Greg Biffle Ford Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion 196.856 36.575 0.495
19 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 196.533 36.635 0.555
20 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Kroger / Hungry Jack / Crisco 196.49 36.643 0.563
21 95 Ty Dillon Chevrolet Red Kap / Nexteer Automotive Chevy SS 196.207 36.696 0.616
22 34 Chris Buescher Ford CSX – Play it Safe 196.137 36.709 0.629
23 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 196.127 36.711 0.631
24 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet GEICO 195.759 36.78 0.7
25 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS 196.185 36.7 0.62
26 44 Brian Scott Ford Albertsons Companies Ford 196.132 36.71 0.63
27 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Axalta 196.078 36.72 0.64
28 38 Landon Cassill Ford MDS Transport 195.961 36.742 0.662
29 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Outback Chevrolet SS 195.934 36.747 0.667
30 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 195.785 36.775 0.695
31 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Cosmo Motors 195.408 36.846 0.766
32 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Knauf / Menards 194.805 36.96 0.88
33 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet Nikko RC / Toy State Chevrolet 193.668 37.177 1.097
34 15 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 5-Hour Energy 192.725 37.359 1.279
35 23 David Ragan Toyota Weaver Media 192.704 37.363 1.283
36 55 Cole Whitt Chevrolet TBD 191.225 37.652 1.572
37 30 Josh Wise Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 189.823 37.93 1.85
38 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt Ford Can – Am 189.12 38.071 1.991
39 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Allstate Peterbilt Group 187.705 38.358 2.278
40 98 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet TBD 185.62 38.789 2.709

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