Homestead NASCAR: Logano on pole, Keselowski beats Johnson
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, November 17th 2012, 01:42 GMT|
Joey Logano claimed pole position at Homestead in his final NASCAR Sprint Cup race for Joe Gibbs Racing, while points leader Brad Keselowski qualified third, seven places ahead of title rival Jimmie Johnson.
The result is Keselowski's best starting position of the Chase.
Logano, Keselowski's future team-mate at Penske Racing, had been fastest in practice earlier on Friday.
Running last in the qualifying order, Logano was able to back up his speed with a flying lap that beat the previous benchmark set by Richard Petty's Marcos Ambrose.
Despite mainly focusing on race set-up during practice, Keselowski was able to deliver his best qualifying performance for the past 13 races.
In the 10 Chase events, Johnson outqualified Keselowski six times, the Hendrick driver claiming three pole positions to his rival's none. Keselowski said his Homestead starting position therefore came as a surprise.
"I really had no expectation of putting on that solid a qualifying lap," said Keselowski. "We prepared for Homestead with the impression that we would have to come here and win the race and do all those things to win the championship.
"I think we were prepared to qualify drastically behind the #48 car [Johnson]."
Johnson was the fastest of the Hendrick drivers in the end but seemed disappointed to have missed the chance to put pressure on Keselowski.
"The best pressure I could put on him would be winning the pole. We didn't do that," said the five-time champion.
Last year's championship runner-up Carl Edwards was fourth while Ambrose's Petty team-mate Aric Almirola was a third Ford among the top five.
Wood Brothers' Trevor Bayne was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 20th. Reed Sorenson, Stephen Leicht, Jason Leffler and Joe Nemechek failed to make the field.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 30.672s 2. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 30.797s + 0.125s 3. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 30.841s + 0.169s 4. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 30.857s + 0.185s 5. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 30.877s + 0.205s 6. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 30.901s + 0.229s 7. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 30.920s + 0.248s 8. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 30.934s + 0.262s 9. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 30.954s + 0.282s 10. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 31.020s + 0.348s 11. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 31.038s + 0.366s 12. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 31.040s + 0.368s 13. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 31.047s + 0.375s 14. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 31.069s + 0.397s 15. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 31.081s + 0.409s 16. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 31.129s + 0.457s 17. Sam Hornish Jr Penske Dodge 31.194s + 0.522s 18. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 31.200s + 0.528s 19. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 31.216s + 0.544s 20. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 31.275s + 0.603s 21. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 31.279s + 0.607s 22. David Stremme Inception Toyota 31.293s + 0.621s 23. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 31.296s + 0.624s 24. Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet 31.303s + 0.631s 25. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 31.309s + 0.637s 26. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 31.347s + 0.675s 27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 31.376s + 0.704s 28. Casey Mears Germain Ford 31.385s + 0.713s 29. Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 31.417s + 0.745s 30. Landon Cassill BK Toyota 31.44 s + 0.768s 31. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 31.442s + 0.770s 32. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 31.454s + 0.782s 33. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 31.463s + 0.791s 34. David Ragan Front Row Ford 31.472s + 0.800s 35. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 31.490s + 0.818s 36. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 31.497s + 0.825s 37. David Reutimann Baldwin Chevrolet 31.538s + 0.866s 38. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 31.610s + 0.938s 39. JJ Yeley Max Q Chevrolet 31.623s + 0.951s 40. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 31.641s + 0.969s 41. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 31.755s + 1.083s 42. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 31.863s + 1.191s 43. Scott Riggs R3 Chevrolet 31.636s + 0.964s Did not qualify: Reed Sorenson Go Green Toyota 31.713s + 1.041s Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Chevrolet 31.754s + 1.082s Jason Leffler Humphrey Smith Toyota 31.758s + 1.086s Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 31.838s + 1.166s