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Jeff Gordon Shatters Track Record To Sit On Pole For Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400

Jeff Gordon Shatters Track Record To Sit On Pole For Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400

by August 15, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway after clocking a lap time of 34.857 seconds at 206.558 mph.

The lap marks the 17th qualifying record set so far in 2014. Kevin Harvick held the previous record with a lap time of 35.198 seconds at 204.557 mph set back in June of this season. Jeff Gordon sat on the pole last weekend at Watkins Glen International, as well. Friday’s pole is Gordon’s 76th career Coors Light Pole Award. He’s the third all-time pole sitter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“I knew that we were really strong here the last time we were here and what our team is doing right now it’s just phenomenal how they continue to improve race cars and just the whole effort,” Gordon said. “I’m just so proud of them. You don’t go around this place like that, that fast without a really good race car. Thanks to Axalta, Drive To End Hunger, Pepsi, Chevrolet, everybody that made this possible. I’m so excited about the way our race team is performing right now.”

Joe Logano who paced the one and only practice session on Friday qualified his No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion in the second position. Logano now has 18 top-10 starts this season, and in 12 starts at Michigan International Speedway, he has started within the top-10 in six races. Logano was second quickest in first round of qualifying and third in the second round.

“Close but didn’t quite make it,” Logano said. “Once again. That is our seventh front row start this year, which we are very proud of don’t get me wrong. It takes a lot of effort to do that but we only have one pole. That is frustrating. That means that is a lot of second place starting positions. We were close again and just weren’t able to do it.

“I have a really fast Shell Pennzoil Ford this weekend and we have been able to keep showing Penske is very strong in qualifying. We are making all the sessions besides the superspeedways and we are proud to have done that this deep in the season. I have a good car in race trim too. I feel like I have something similar to what I had in this race last year that we won the pole and race with. We are going to come up a little short on the pole but hopefully we can do it in the race.”

Carl Edwards qualified third, his eighth top-10 start this season. Edwards has four top-10 starts at Michigan International Speedway. He was fastest in the first round of qualifying and fourth in the second round.

“It is fast. That is the simplest way to describe it,” Edwards said. “It is fast. I wish you guys could ride in that car with me. That is screamin’. If I had to do over again I think I could do better but I am sure everyone could say that. There is so much speed out there you have to do everything perfectly. We almost did. I thought we had a shot at the pole there – we did have a shot at the pole. It is like Jimmy Fennig said, ‘It is nice to be disappointed with third.’ I think we were 23rd the last time we were here. It was definitely a fun day and just what we needed, something positive like that.”

Jimmie Johnson continued to struggle during qualifying. He didn’t even make it past the first round after qualifying 30th. The team is battling an extremely aggressive vibration.

“We’ve just had a vibration with our car; really a shake, a violent shake through the corner,” Johnson said. “And we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it. We made it better, and it certainly went faster, but just not enough. We’ll go back to the drawing board and dig-in deeper and see what’s going on.”

Last weekend’s winner at Watkins Glen International, AJ Allmendinger qualified 22nd.

Jeff Burton who’s the interim driver for Tony Stewart will start 27th on Sunday.

Ryan Blaney subbed for Trevor Bayne only for Friday qualified 28th.

Matt Crafton who’s subbing for Martin Truex Jr. this weekend qualified 39th.

Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway will be live on ESPN, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and NASCAR on Sirius XM at 1 p.m. EST.

Pure Michigan 400 Starting Lineup:
1.) #24 Jeff Gordon
2.) #22 Joey Logano
3.) #99 Carl Edwards
4.) #55 Brian Vickers
5.) #2 Brad Keselowski
6.) #4 Kevin Harvick
7.) #27 Paul Menard
8.) #3 Austin Dillon
9.) #1 Jamie McMurray
10.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11.) #16 Greg Biffle
12.) #31 Ryan Newman
13.) #42 Kyle Larson
14.) #10 Danica Patrick
15.) #5 Kasey Kahne
16.) #41 Kurt Busch
17.) #51 Justin Allgaier
18.) #20 Matt Kenseth
19.) #15 Clint Bowyer
20.) #9 Marcos Ambrose
21.) #11 Denny Hamlin
22.) #47 AJ Allmendinger
23.) #43 Aric Almirola
24.) #18 Kyle Busch
25.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
26.) #13 Casey Mears
27.) #14 Jeff Burton
28.) #21 Ryan Blaney
29.) #38 David Gilliland
30.) #48 Jimmie Johnson
31.) #83 Ryan Truex
32.) #23 Alex Bowman
33.) #98 Josh Wise
34.) #34 David Ragan
35.) #7 Michael Annett
36.) #26 Cole Whitt
37.) #37 Dave Blaney
38.) #32 Travis Kvapil
39.) #78 Matt Crafton
40.) #36 Reed Sorenson
41.) #33 Alex Kennedy
42.) #66 Joe Nemechek
43.) #40 Landon Cassill

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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