Phoenix NASCAR: Brad Keselowski takes first pole of new system
|Saturday, March 1st 2014, 00:41 GMT|
Brad Keselowski claimed the first pole position under the NASCAR Sprint Cup's new Formula 1-inspired qualifying system at Phoenix.
The previous one-at-a-time format has been dropped for 2014 in favour of a knockout structure.
At Phoenix, the whole field had a 30-minute session after which the top 12 went forward into a pole shootout.
Penske duo Joey Logano and Keselowski had put their Fords first and second as soon as the first part of qualifying began and held those positions throughout.
They did the same in part two, but this time Keselowski was able to improve on his second run and beat his team-mate's 25.850-second lap by 0.022s.
"Boy that feels good, we've put a lot of effort to being as good as we can be after a very long 2013," said '12 champion Keselowski, who failed to make the Chase last season.
Ganassi had a strong day, with Jamie McMurray third and rookie Kyle Larson seventh.
Jimmie Johnson took fourth, ahead of his Daytona 500-winning Hendrick team-mate Dale Earnhardt Jr, who had been quickest in practice, and Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle.
While the Penske drivers opted to go out immediately in the pole segment, others held back in the pits until the last moment.
Denny Hamlin took this tactic furthest and did just one lap, but ended up 12th and last among the group.
Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman led those who missed the cut at the end of first qualifying.
Although some drivers voiced concerns about traffic, particularly with cars running slowly to cool down between flying laps, the only incident was an early spin into the wall by Justin Allgaier.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 25.828s 2. Joey Logano Penske Ford 25.850s +0.022s 3. Jamie McMurray Ganassi Chevrolet 25.905s +0.077s 4. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 26.021s +0.193s 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 26.022s +0.194s 6. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 26.023s +0.195s 7. Kyle Larson Ganassi Chevrolet 26.027s +0.199s 8. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.027s +0.199s 9. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 26.034s +0.206s 10. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.078s +0.250s 11. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 26.108s +0.280s 12. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.217s +0.389s 13. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.122s Q1 14. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 26.123s Q1 15. Ryan Newman Childress Chevrolet 26.126s Q1 16. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota 26.127s Q1 17. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 26.136s Q1 18. Casey Mears Germain Chevrolet 26.165s Q1 19. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 26.173s Q1 20. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.185s Q1 21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 26.187s Q1 22. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 26.211s Q1 23. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 26.236s Q1 24. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 26.239s Q1 25. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Chevrolet 26.243s Q1 26. Michael McDowell Leavine Ford 26.265s Q1 27. Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Chevrolet 26.296s Q1 28. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 26.303s Q1 29. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 26.317s Q1 30. David Ragan Front Row Ford 26.318s Q1 31. Cole Whitt Swan Toyota 26.330s Q1 32. Brian Scott Childress Chevrolet 26.331s Q1 33. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 26.365s Q1 34. Ryan Truex BK Toyota 26.495s Q1 35. Alex Bowman BK Toyota 26.546s Q1 36. Parker Kligerman Swan Toyota 26.591s Q1 37. Blake Koch Front Row Ford 26.615s Q1 38. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 26.670s Q1 39. Reed Sorenson Baldwin Chevrolet 26.687s Q1 40. Travis Kvapil Go FAS Ford 26.712s Q1 41. Michael Annett Baldwin Chevrolet 26.836s Q1 42. Morgan Shepherd Shepherd Toyota 27.908s Q1 43. Justin Allgaier HScott Chevrolet Did not qualify: Josh Wise Parsons Chevrolet 26.610s Q1 Landon Cassill Hillman Chevrolet 26.644s Q1 Dave Blaney Humphrey Ford 26.818s Q1