Brad Keselowski turned in a lap time of 28.022 seconds during NASCAR Sprint Cup pole qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Friday to claim the pole starting spot for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301. It was a new track qualifying record at NHMS. As a matter-of-fact, 10 drivers posted lap times faster than the previous record.
“We had a really fast race car,” Keselowski said. “The Blue Deuce has been fast since we unloaded here, and we came here and tested a few weeks back and the guys did a great job giving me an awesome car. I don’t feel like I nailed a paerfect lap, but my guys carried me with that car. Hopefully, it will be this fast on Sunday when it really counts.”
Kurt Busch will start alongside his former teammate on the front row in the second spot, despite turning in the third-fastest lap time. Jimmie Johnson had the second-fastest lap, but his time was disallowed after post-qualifying inspection because his car was too low. As a result, Johnson will start 43rd, the final spot on the starting grid. He’ll be the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to not start in the top-10 on Sunday. Johnson’s No. 48 had a hard time getting through inspection prior to qualifying, too.
“We had two small issued — one with the side skirt height missed it by a sixteenth of an inch. Then I think a pound of weight was missing or wasn’t right on the right-side weight,” Johnson said prior to having his time disallowed. “We had to go through twice and that is usually big trouble for teams. We were able to get it done quickly and get out just in time. With all that being said, it just added a lot of stress to my qualifying lap.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch will share the second row on Sunday, moving up to third and fourth following Johnson’s disallowed time. Jeff Gordon wound up fifth in qualifying.
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton and Juan Montoya.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR