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Logano breaks record to win pole in Michigan

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, August 16, 2013

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Joey Logano

Joey Logano put down a track-record lap of 203.949 miles per hour Friday as the 16th qualifier. He had to wait out 28 other drivers trying to claim the pole position for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. 

When the dust settled there was no “Catch 22” as Logano, in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford had the pole, the record, and the best seat in the house for the start of Sunday’s race.

Logano’s lap was the ninth-fastest pole-winning lap in NASCAR Sprint Cup history.

“I don’t know if that speed will hold up,” Logano said as he nervously watched those giving chase. “I think it should hang in the top-five, I hope.”

Kurt Busch qualified one spot ahead of Logano and thought his qualifying speed of 203.695 might hold up for the pole, but that hope was very short lived and Busch settled for the outside of the front row.

“I thought we had enough to get the pole but Logano hit it perfect,” Kurt Busch explained. “We’re really happy with the outside of the front row. It was an extremely fast pace. The track was really quick.”

Jimmie Johnson, the third fastest qualifier at 203.470, also wiped out the previous record of 203.241 mph established by Marcos Ambrose for the Quicken Loans 400 in 2012. 

Drivers said that the track, repaved two years ago, will continue to get faster as it gets broken in and that three lanes will be available by the end of Sunday’s race.

A total of 25 drivers exceeded an average speed of 200 MPH as the fastest track in NASCAR keeps getting faster. A total of 13 drivers went over 200 MPH during qualifying last June.

In the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session Friday a total of 20 drivers surpassed the 200 mile-per-hour plateau, a prelude to what was to come. Johnson led the way at 203.355 mph.

If Friday’s practice times are any indication, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying record at MIS will be broken many times over when official qualifying is contested Saturday morning. It is scheduled to begin at 9:35.

A total of nine drivers surpassed Joey Coulter’s record of 184.101 MPH that garnered the pole for the 2012 race. Darrell Wallace, Jr., paced the field with a practice speed of 185.634 mph in the first session.

Then along came Kyle Busch to post a quick lap of 187.578 mph in the second practice session as a total of 19 drivers surpassed Coulter’s mark.

Kyle Busch was ninth fastest in the first practice session but found more speed in the second session.

For the second year in a row MIS was named “Track of The Year” by the NASCAR Foundation for its charitable and community efforts in 2012. But what about on the inside, the actual track itself?

Maybe Jimmie Johnson is the last person to ask if for no other reason than the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and current points leader has never won at Michigan in 23 Cup race appearances.

But, no, Johnson holds no grudge against MIS.

“This track has always been high on the driver’s list,’’ he said. “I love coming here. This track has worked very well with myself and the young fans; we have a package that we do here with them and I go out and spend some time with the kids. So, I’m very proud of what this race track does with the fans.”

Austin Dillon, interim driver for Tony Stewart this weekend at MIS, will be making his third appearance with a different Sprint Cup team this season. Not a problem for the youngster who has also competed with Circle Sport Racing and Phoenix racing.

“I think it’s cool to be able to say that I’ve driven for multiple different people,” he explained Friday after qualifying 27th. “The great thing about it is that you learn a lot of running with different guys and learn how things are supposed to be done and what it really takes to be a team leader.”

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is NASCAR’s fastest track and the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

Lineup

Pos Driver Car Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell-Pennzoil 203.949 35.303 Leader
2 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing-Serta 203.695 35.347 --0.044
3 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe's 203.470 35.386 --0.083
4 Mark Martin 55 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 203.218 35.430 --0.127
5 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Cheerios 203.114 35.448 --0.145
6 Juan Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target 202.988 35.470 --0.167
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet National Guard Youth Foundation 202.817 35.500 --0.197
8 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Freight 202.800 35.503 --0.200
9 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 202.726 35.516 --0.213
10 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota Interstate Batteries 202.384 35.576 --0.273
11 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 5-Hour Energy 202.304 35.590 --0.287
12 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Dollar General 202.230 35.603 --0.300
13 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Standox 202.117 35.623 --0.320
14 Aric Almirola 43 Ford Eckrich 201.799 35.679 --0.376
15 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Rheem 201.641 35.707 --0.404
16 Greg Biffle 16 Ford FIRST 201.590 35.716 --0.413
17 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 201.590 35.716 --0.413
18 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto 201.337 35.761 --0.458
19 Carl Edwards 99 Ford BB/Geek Squad 201.033 35.815 --0.512
20 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Nibco 200.736 35.868 --0.565
21 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Quicken Loans/PTA 200.613 35.890 --0.587
22 R Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Fifth Third Bank 200.613 35.890 --0.587
23 David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver's 200.518 35.907 --0.604
24 David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 200.261 35.953 --0.650
25 David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 200.178 35.968 --0.665
26 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford DeWalt 199.994 36.001 --0.698
27 Austin Dillon 14 Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops 199.983 36.003 --0.700
28 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 199.689 36.056 --0.753
29 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet Philips 199.518 36.087 --0.784
30 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota Kingsford Charcoal 198.829 36.212 --0.909
31 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Pepsi MAX 197.906 36.381 --1.078
32 Scott Speed 95 Ford Leavine Family Racing 197.704 36.418 --1.115
33 Casey Mears 13 Ford Valvoline NextGen 197.672 36.424 --1.121
34 Timmy Hill 32 Ford U.S. Chrome 197.028 36.543 --1.240
35 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet TBA 197.012 36.546 --1.243
36 David Stremme 30 Toyota Widow Wax-Lean1 196.980 36.552 --1.249
37 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota TBA 196.818 36.582 --1.279
38 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 196.148 36.707 --1.404
39 Brendan Gaughan 51 Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 195.679 36.795 --1.492
40 Josh Wise 35 Ford MDS Transport 195.610 36.808 --1.505
41 Johnny Sauter 98 Ford Phil Parsons Racing 195.180 36.889 --1.586
42 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet TBA 194.542 37.010 --1.707
43 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet Little JoesAutos.com 192.627 37.378 --2.075

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