Brad Keselowski will start first in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) after winning the pole in qualifying Friday.
The Michigan native claimed the pole position with a speed of 190.471 mph around the 2-mile track. It is his second pole of the year (New Hampshire), the 16th of his career and his second at Michigan.
“This Discount Tire Ford Mustang has bene incredible since we unloaded,” Keselowski told NBCSN. “We were really fast in practice then everybody started picking up a bunch here, towards the end of qualifying got a little nervous. (Crew chief) Paul Wolfe and the team did a great job, we picked up just enough to get our second pole. Hopefully we can put it into a win.”
Keselowski has yet to win at Michigan in 20 career starts. Michigan is just the second track he has won multiple poles on, the other is New Hampshire (four).
“It definitely nags on me,” Keselowski said of not having a win at Michigan. “The advantage of being the pole-sitter is really dependent on how the yellows fall and the pit strategies fall. It can be a huge advantage if the race has a lot of yellows but if the race doesn’t have many yellows it can be maybe a slight disadvantage with pit stalls and things of that nature. It plays out to how the strategy unfolds as much as anything else.”
Clint Bowyer qualified fifth, his best starting position since he started there in the June Michigan race.
Chase Elliott qualified sixth, giving Hendrick Motorsports three cars in the top six for the third time this year.
Austin Dillon (seventh) and Daniel Hemric (11th) had their qualifying times disallowed for not having fully functional alternators and will start at the back of the field. The infraction is a L1 level penalty.