Brad Keselowski Collects First Pole of Season at Poconoby Kyle Pokrefky June 3, 2016 0 comments
Brad Keselowski scored his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season on Friday and will lead the field to green for Sunday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, completed a Team Penske lockout of the front row for Sunday with a lap time of 49.525 seconds. Teammate Joey Logano, leader of the first two qualifying rounds, missed out on the pole by 89 thousandths of a second with his lap time of 49.614 seconds.
Mother Nature showed her face at Pocono early on in the day – bringing first practice to an early close and giving most teams only a single lap of data to go on entering qualifying. For Keselowski, that led to three round of qualifying full of uncertainty.
“Really solid effort for Team Penske to get 1-2,” Keselowski said. “That’s really hard to do, I can tell you that. We had great speed obviously today. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the rain and the other variables that were thrown at us with low practice. We thought we’d be okay, quite honestly. We tested here and we weren’t really good and we weren’t sure what to expect. We got a half-lap of practice in and we weren’t all that good there either.
“For some reason during this session, the team put things together, worked on it, found some speed and dialed on it in each round and we got faster each round and that’s why we’re up here today as a team effort.”
Slated to take the green flag on Sunday behind the Team Penske teammates in the top-10 are Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.
Other notable qualifiers for Sunday’s race include Kyle Busch in 12th, Chase Elliott in 13th, Martin Truex Jr. in 17th, Kyle Larson in 21st, Clint Bowyer in 23rd and Danica Patrick in 33rd.
With 40 drivers entered for the first of two race weekends at Pocono this year, no team was sent home following the conclusion of qualifying early Friday evening.
Next up for the Sprint Cup Series at Pocono will be a single Saturday practice session at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ before Sunday’s early afternoon race.
Photo Credit: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images