Brad Keselowski added two NASCAR poles to his collection at Kentucky Speeday in Sparta on Friday. After winning the pole for Friday night’s Nationwide Series race, he added the pole starting spot Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the track. His Sprint Cup pole winning run in the third and final round of Cup qualifying clocked in at 28.603 seconds/188.91 mph. It’s his third Sprint Cup pole of the season.
“We’re eright where we want to be,” Keselowski said. “Starting first is a great start, but it’s just a start. You still have to execute a race and by no means a guarantee of a win, so we’ll want to go out there and earn that Ssaturday.”
Team Penske swapt the front row in Sprint Cup Series qualifying, with Keselowski’s teammate Joey Logano posting the second-fastest lap in the final round of qualifying.
“We’ve got a good Shell/Pennzoil Ford,” Logano said. “Obviously, Team Penske, we’ve qualified well and made the final session at every race track besides Talladega, so we’re still proud that we’ve been able to do that at a lot of different types of race tracks.”
Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin were third and fourth in round three to claim the two second-row spots on the starting grid.
“It wasn’t bad, really,” Hamlin said. “We got faster every run, which is similar to what we did in Pocono. We’re getting better. Fourth is a little better than I expected to qualify, but we think we have a top-five car for the race.”
Logano was the fastest in both the first round of qualifying, posting a 29.049 second/185.893 mph lap in the first round and 28.783 second/187.611 mph lap in round two. In the first round, Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon were second and third to Logano. In the second round, Keselowski was second and Clint Bowyer third.
Also advancing to the final round and qualifying fifth through 12th were Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Patrick, Bowyer and Paul Menard.
Only 42 drivers made qualifying attempts in the first round, so Saturday night’s race will be one car shy of a full Sprint Cup Series race field of 43.