Penske Racing’s Joey Logano sets new NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway on his way to nail down the home pole for the team owner and Ford Motor Company.
The No. 22 Penske Racing Ford of Joey Logano set a new track qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Friday with a lap time of 35.303 seconds during qualifying for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The lap was the ninth-fastest pole winning lap in Sprint Cup history. Despite such a fast lap, Logano was unsure if it would keep him atop the scoring pylon for the duration of the session.
"That felt faster than practice," Logano said. "I think it was better than what we had in practice. I don't know if it will be enough to hold up, though. I thought a teen would be what it would take. I think it should hang in the top-five, I hope."
Logano will be joined on the front row on Sunday by the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet of Kurt Busch after Busch posted a lap time of 35.347 seconds for his 10th top-10 start of the season and his 10th-career top-10 start at Michigan. Another Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports entry, qualified third.
"It was a really good lap for us and our Furniture Row guys and the way we picked up speed from practice," Busch said. "I was hoping to get a 35.35 and that's exactly what we ran and we'll see where that shakes up."
Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of Mark Martin and the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Jeff Burton. Just days after it became common knowledge that he would be losing his ride at the end of the season, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet in the sixth spot after going out early in the session.
"Going out early is not the end of the world," Montoya said. "The problem is, I finished my lap and it cools down. I got in the car; the track was 12 degrees hotter than when we first practiced, and I'm like, okay, and if I can back it down, I'll be the same lap time as practice and that's a hell of a job. And we did and look at this; it's probably cooled down 15 to 20 degrees."
Chevrolet claimed half of the top-10 positions on the starting grid. In addition to Busch, Johnson, Burton and Montoya, the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified in the top-10 with seventh.
Rounding out the top-10 were the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Denny Hamlin, the No. 2 Penske Racing Ford of Brad Keselowski and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch.
Forty-four drivers made qualifying attempts on Friday. The lone driver to not get a starting spot was Scott Riggs.