Texas NASCAR: Brad Keselowski takes comfortable pole for Penske

Brad Keselowski dominated NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway for Penske on Friday

Texas NASCAR: Brad Keselowski takes comfortable pole for Penske

The 2012 champion's Ford had been fastest in practice, then set the pace in all three segments of the floodlit early evening qualifying session.

Keselowski's 27.421-second, 196.929mph lap in the pole shootout put him a comfortable 0.131s clear of second-placed Kevin Harvick's Stewart-Haas Chevrolet.

Kyle Busch was the top Toyota driver in third for Joe Gibbs Racing, joined on row two by Keselowski's Penske team-mate Joey Logano.

JGR's stand-in driver Erik Jones starred to put the suspended Matt Kenseth's regular car sixth, behind fellow young gun Kyle Larson, the fastest of the drivers not in the Chase.

Danica Patrick made it into the final stage of qualifying for the first time this season and took 11th on the grid.

Her SHR team-mate Kurt Busch was the fifth Chase contender to reach round three and will start seventh.

Three Chase drivers dropped out in round two. Carl Edwards was denied a pole shootout spot by 0.004s by Patrick, so lines up 13th, while last week's Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr both lacked single-lap pace. They were 18th and 23rd.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 27.421s -
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 27.552s 0.131s
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.591s 0.170s
4 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 27.633s 0.212s
5 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 27.644s 0.223s
6 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.650s 0.229s
7 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 27.694s 0.273s
8 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.708s 0.287s
9 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.740s 0.319s
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.767s 0.346s
11 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 27.934s 0.513s
12 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.361s 0.940s
13 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 27.644s -
14 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 27.646s -
15 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 27.667s -
16 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.672s -
17 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 27.718s -
18 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 27.744s -
19 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.755s -
20 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.810s -
21 Brian Scott Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.810s -
22 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 27.819s -
23 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 27.835s -
24 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 27.883s -
25 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 27.618s -
26 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.622s -
27 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 27.645s -
28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.670s -
29 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.672s -
30 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 27.730s -
31 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 27.743s -
32 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 27.746s -
33 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 27.911s -
34 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 27.988s -
35 Brett Moffitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.030s -
36 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet 28.060s -
37 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 28.077s -
38 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 28.085s -
39 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.185s -
40 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota 28.193s -
41 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 28.236s -
42 Ryan Preece Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet 28.318s -
43 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 28.483s -

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