Joey Logano claimed pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan with a blistering lap at 203.949mph.
Practice hinted that record speeds were in prospect, and top three qualifiers Logano, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson all beat the previous mark with their laps.
Busch was on provisional pole for a few more moments before being deposed by Penske driver Logano's 35.303-second effort.
Johnson had been fastest in morning practice, but cloud cover had given way to bright sunshine by the time he ran and third was the best he could do.
Provisional pole had changed hands repeatedly in a busy mid-qualifying spell, and veterans Mark Martin and Jeff Burton each held it briefly before Logano and Busch's runs. Martin and Burton stayed near the front in fourth and fifth.
In the week that his impending departure from Earnhardt Ganassi was announced, Juan Pablo Montoya was on provisional pole for the first quarter of the session and ended up sixth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.
Austin Dillon qualified 27th while standing in for the injured Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas.
The race attracted 44 entrants, leaving Landon Cassill outside the qualifying cut.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Joey Logano Penske Ford 35.303s 2. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 35.347s +0.044s 3. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 35.386s +0.083s 4. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 35.430s +0.127s 5. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 35.448s +0.145s 6. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 35.470s +0.167s 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 35.500s +0.197s 8. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 35.503s +0.200s 9. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 35.516s +0.213s 10. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 35.576s +0.273s 11. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 35.590s +0.287s 12. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 35.603s +0.300s 13. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 35.623s +0.320s 14. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 35.679s +0.376s 15. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 35.707s +0.404s 16. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 35.716s +0.413s 17. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 35.716s +0.413s 18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 35.761s +0.458s 19. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 35.815s +0.512s 20. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 35.868s +0.565s 21. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 35.890s +0.587s 22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 35.890s +0.587s 23. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 35.907s +0.604s 24. David Ragan Front Row Ford 35.953s +0.650s 25. David Reutimann BK Toyota 35.968s +0.665s 26. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 36.001s +0.698s 27. Austin Dillon Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 36.003s +0.700s 28. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 36.056s +0.753s 29. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 36.087s +0.784s 30. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 36.212s +0.909s 31. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 36.381s +1.078s 32. Scott Speed Leavine Ford 36.418s +1.115s 33. Casey Mears Germain Ford 36.424s +1.121s 34. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 36.543s +1.240s 35. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 36.546s +1.243s 36. David Stremme Swan Toyota 36.552s +1.249s 37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 36.582s +1.279s 38. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 36.707s +1.404s 39. Brendan Gaughan Phoenix Chevrolet 36.795s +1.492s 40. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 36.808s +1.505s 41. Johnny Sauter Parsons Ford 36.889s +1.586s 42. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 37.010s +1.707s 43. Scott Riggs Humphrey Smith Toyota 37.234s +1.931s 44. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 37.378s +2.031s