Joey Logano claims NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Pocono
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, June 9th 2012, 18:07 GMT|
Joey Logano claimed his first pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver set a lap of 50.112 seconds at an average speed of 179.598 mph, the fastest of the week and also a track record, thanks to the new pavement laid around the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Logano ran 18th in the order and surprisingly his lap, which was slightly faster than his best from final practice, stood unbeaten for most the session as most of the fastest drivers from Friday could not replicate their speed on Saturday, having tested extensively at the track since Wednesday.
"I had a great car, [crew chef] Jason [Ratcliff] has done a great job all week being here," said Logano after earning his fourth career pole, and his second at Pocono.
"It's cool to get a pole here and get a new track record too, so that's really neat. Hopefully that holds up for a while. I felt like I left a little bit out there too, so I'm excited to start this thing and hopefully bring home a 'big W' [win]."
Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards, who had been second to Logano in Friday's final session, was around two tenths off his practice speed but still set a lap good enough for second after struggling earlier in the week.
Last year's Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard was third and best Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing while Kyle Busch, seemingly more at ease than ever at Pocono, was fourth fastest ahead of his JGR team-mate Denny Hamlin, a four-time winner at the venue.
Points leader Greg Biffle ended up 13th right ahead of his Roush team-mate Matt Kenseth and BK Racing's Landon Cassill, the first to break into the 50-second bracket during the session.
Last week's winner Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) had a surprisingly poor effort, finishing only 24th in one of his worst qualifying results of the season thus far.
Mike Bliss was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 28th, while David Stremme failed to make the field.
The session suffered a slight delay early on as officials had to work on cleaning a slick track, Scott Riggs having to run for a second time as it was deemed that conditions compromised his first qualifying attempt.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 50.112s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 50.317s + 0.205s 3. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 50.397s + 0.285s 4. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 50.399s + 0.287s 5. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 50.408s + 0.296s 6. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 50.497s + 0.385s 7. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 50.517s + 0.405s 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 50.579s + 0.467s 9. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 50.601s + 0.489s 10. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 50.612s + 0.500s 11. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.659s + 0.547s 12. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 50.694s + 0.582s 13. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 50.699s + 0.587s 14. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 50.704s + 0.592s 15. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 50.789s + 0.677s 16. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 50.840s + 0.728s 17. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.851s + 0.739s 18. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.890s + 0.778s 19. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge 50.904s + 0.792s 20. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 50.946s + 0.834s 21. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50.979s + 0.867s 22. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 51.015s + 0.903s 23. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 51.090s + 0.978s 24. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 51.093s + 0.981s 25. David Reutimann Phoenix Chevrolet 51.115s + 1.003s 26. Casey Mears Germain Ford 51.254s + 1.142s 27. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 51.260s + 1.148s 28. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 51.315s + 1.203s 29. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 51.382s + 1.270s 30. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 51.407s + 1.295s 31. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 51.464s + 1.352s 32. JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Toyota 51.741s + 1.629s 33. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 51.763s + 1.651s 34. David Ragan Front Row Ford 51.768s + 1.656s 35. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 51.874s + 1.762s 36. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 51.951s + 1.839s 37. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 52.370s + 2.258s 38. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 52.472s + 2.360s 39. Stacy Compton Turn One Chevrolet 52.584s + 2.472s 40. Tony Raines Baldwin Chevrolet 53.760s + 3.648s 41. Reed Sorenson FAS Lane Ford 42. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 43. Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 52.834s + 2.722s Did not qualify: David Stremme Inception Toyota 52.940s + 2.828s