Team Penske swept the front row for Sunday’s Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Michigan native Brad Keselowski won the pole Friday with a lap of 203.097 mph. Teammate Joey Logano, who needs a win to advance to the playoffs, starts second after a lap of 203.063 mph.
This is Keselowski’s second pole of the season and first at Michigan.
“It feels really good,” Keselowski told NBCSN after his 14th career pole. “It kind of feels like the first time. This is a track that probably isn’t my best track even though it’s my hometown track, but the team did a great job.”
Logano, whose cars have struggled to have enough speed lately, was thrilled with his qualifying effort.
“It seems like Team Penske has brought some speed,” Logano told NBCSN. “That’s a good sign. I feel good about it. We need a win, so this is a good start.”
Blaney was the fastest in the opening round with a lap of 201.686 mph. He was the fastest in the second round with a lap of 203.120 mph. Blaney’s car wiggled on his qualifying lap in the final round and qualified 12th.
Toyota had won the past five poles entering this weekend. Kyle Busch had won the pole the last three races. Busch will start sixth.
Martin Truex Jr., who won last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International, was bumped from advancing to the final round in the final seconds of the second session. He will start 13th. It’s only the second time in the last 13 races he’s started outside the top 10. He had started on the front row in six of the last 11 races.
Jimmie Johnson qualified 22nd. It is his worst starting spot since starting 24th at Sonoma in June.