Brad Keselowski Storms to Richmond Pole

Brad Keselowski Storms to Richmond Pole

by September 6, 2014 0 comments

Photo credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

RICHMOND, Va. — Brad Keselowski claimed his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season after running the fastest time in qualifying for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway with a lap of 21.324 seconds.

Keselowski claimed the fifth pole of the season for Team Penske and the seventh of his career by besting Jeff Gordon by 98-thousandths of a second in the second and final round of qualifying. Rounding out the top-five would be Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano. Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Carl Edwards would round out the top-10.

After his qualifying run, Keselowski spoke of the strides that the Penske operation has made in qualifying with the implementation of the new knockout format for all national series’ 2014 seasons.

“I think this year Penske has really caught on,” Keselowski said. “We hope that that will be the case for years to come. I think the Ford relationship has really developed and that’s a big piece of why we’re excelling to levels that we have never seen before. And so, I think there’s a lot of things happening all at once that you could probably point at each and everyone of them in some way having a factor into our success. But the fast cars, that’s always the root of all success in NASCAR.”

Missing the cut of making the top-12 for the 10-minute long second qualifying round would be drivers such as Danica Patrick, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Only one driver would be sent home from Richmond at the conclusion of the first round of qualifying. Beard Motorsports and driver Clay Rogers were unable to run a lap fast enough for both to make their respective debuts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with their time of 21.993 seconds. The organization and Rogers previously attempted to make the Loudon race held earlier in the summer.

The pole-sitter for either the spring or summer Richmond race has not won at the track since the spring of 2010 when Kyle Busch won from P1 for Joe Gibbs Racing. The last three Richmond races have been won from well outside of the top-10 with the average start of the last three winners at the circuit being 30.5.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Federated Auto Parts 400

  1. 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske – 21.324 | Leader
  2. 24 – Jeff Gordon – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 21.422 | -0.098
  3. 48 – Jimmie Johnson – Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports – 21.446 | -0.122
  4. 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 21.453 | -0.129
  5. 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske – 21.486 | -0.162
  6. 15 – Clint Bowyer – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing – 21.491 | -0.167
  7. 17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 21.518 | -0.194
  8. 42 – Kyle Larson# – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing – 21.586 | -0.262
  9. 41 – Kurt Busch – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing – 21.615 | -0.291
  10. 99 – Carl Edwards – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 21.658 | -0.334

# = Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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