Joey Logano Wins His Third Career Pole At Michigan International Speedwayby Hunter Thomas August 27, 2016 0 comments
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Joey Logano captured his third pole of the season on Friday, when he clocked the fastest lap in the final round of Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Michigan International Speedway.
To sit on the pole for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, Logano ran a lap of 35.697 seconds at 201.698 mph. The pole also marked his third at the speedway. The Team Penske driver won the 2013 Pure Michigan 400, as well as this year’s FireKeepers Casino 400, both from the pole. The only drivers to win three or more races from the first place starting spot at Michigan International Speedway are NASCAR Hall of Famers, David Pearson and Bill Elliott.
“I was surprised after the first couple of rounds when we weren’t as fast as the last time we were here,” Logano said. “We were eighth going into the final round but great adjustments to find a little bit more speed out of this thing. I was down there waiting and Todd said, ‘Take it!’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I am going to take it.’ So I got pumped up and I had the attitude that we were going to grab it or we were going to crash. It worked out well.”
Starting alongside of Logano on Sunday is Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson. He now has 20 top-10 starts at the speedway, and the runner-up effort also marks his 10th top-10 of the 2016 season. Johnson was second fastest in opening practice on Friday but fell to ninth in second practice. In Coors Light Pole Qualifying, Johnson won Round 1, and he was fifth fastest in Round 2 of qualifying. In the final round, he missed out on the pole by 0.031 seconds.
“Michigan, since it’s been repaved, has been very sensitive and track position has been very important,” Johnson said. “So, we’ll take it. We’ll stack more pennies in the right direction and hopefully have a nice race on Sunday. Our past history shows good Fridays mean good Sunday’s and we’re off to a good start.”
Denny Hamlin will start third on Sunday. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry has started every race this season within the top-10, except for Daytona and Atlanta, the first two events of the season. Hamlin was second in Round 1 of qualifying on Friday and fourth in Round 2.
“It was good and my runs were good – all of them were good,” Hamlin said. “Just really, just a little off obviously. That was the closest we were to the fastest speed. We were one of the top cars in every session and can’t really complain, no real balance complaints, just a little off on speed really.”
Kevin Harvick and Chase Eilliott will start fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 will be Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman.
The Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images