Keselowski takes Michigan pole in all-Penske front row

Michigan native Brad Keselowski showed off in front of the home crowd on Friday.

Keselowski takes Michigan pole in all-Penske front row
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford

Keselowski posted his first-career pole at his home track — Michigan International Speedway — with a lap of 203.097mph. It was Keselowski’s 14th-career pole and his second in 2017.

“It kind of feels like the first time,” Keselowski said. 

His Penske teammate Joey Logano will share the front row after posting a lap of 203.063mph. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch will comprise the first three rows for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. 

Jamie McMurray qualified seventh followed by Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top 12. 

Kesneth was the first driver out in all three rounds. He set the mark of 35.451-seconds (202.097mph). Keselowski, Logano, Harvick topped Kenseth with three minutes remaining in the session. 

Erik Jones lap was sixth-quick initially, but he was a bumped by Kyle Busch and then Chase Elliott. Ryan Blaney, who led the first two rounds, could only muster the 12th-fastest lap — 201.235mph when he took to the track with two minutes to go. The No. 21 Ford bobbled twice coming through Turn 1 on his final qualifying attempt.

Round 2

Ryan Blaney swept the first two rounds of time trials. In the second round his top speed was 203.120mph on the clouded two-mile track. 

Brad Keselowski vaulted to second-quick on his second attempt. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer transferred to the final round.

Again, Kenseth was the first driver to make a lap. He established a time 35.722-seconds (201.556mph). Keselowski was second with a speed of 201.556mph. Harvick jumped to P1 with a lap of 202.674mph followed by Jones (202.196mph), Kyle Busch (201.969mph), Kenseth, McMurray (200.893mph), Keselowski Austin Dillon, Earnhardt and Johnson.

“That’s about all I got,” Earnhardt said after his lap of 200.178mph. 

At the seven-minute mark, Larson moved up to second but it was short-lived as Blaney posted the fast lap of 203.120mph. Harvick remained second followed by Larson, Logano, Elliott, Jones, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth and Clint Bowyer with six minutes on the clock. Twenty-three drivers completed laps with five minutes to go. 

Trevor Bayne was the last driver to make an attempt with just over two minutes on the clock. Austin Dillon returned to the track for a second attempt. With one minute remaining, Keselowski, Earnhardt and Busch took another shot. Keselowski jumped from 13th to second on the speed chart with a lap of 203.069mph. McMurray made a last dash after being bumped to 13th and claimed 10th.

“The damn thing was screaming, that was a killer run,” Keselowski said.

Round 1

Ryan Blaney was fastest in opening practice and carried that speed into the first round of qualifying. 

Blaney posted a lap of 201.686mph to lead the session. Chase Elliott was second followed by Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson. 

Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez, Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Aric Almirola transfered to the next trial. 

Kenseth was the first driver to post a time — 36.157-seconds (199.132mph). Harvick bumped the No. 20 car with a lap of 200.289mph. After the first three minutes, Harvick remained on top followed by Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr. (198.211mph), Kahne, Ryan Newman, Almirola, AJ Allmendinger and Ty Dillon.

Chase Elliott was fastest of the first 11 cars. He topped the chart with a lap of 201.292mph. Just before the five-minute mark, Jones (200.239mph) vaulted to third followed by Johnson (199.137mph). Moments later, Truex ran the fourth fastest lap but with 14 minutes to go, Ryan Blaney jumped to the top of the leader board with his lap of 201.686mph. Thirteen minutes in Bowyer bumped up to ninth. Hamlin’s first lap of 199.839mph was fast enough for sixth — until Larson cruised up to third-quick with a lap of 201.072mph. 

Just under 11 minutes, Logano claimed the sixth fastest speed of 200.228mph. His Penske teammate Brad Keselowski posted the 12th-quick lap of 198.890mph. He was knocked to 13th after Kyle Busch ran a lap of 199.784mph in his newly repaired No. 18 Toyota. 

Thirty-six cars posted times with nine minutes remaining on the clock. Ty Dillon ran three laps but couldn’t improve on his 31st-place spot. Almirola, who was 25th, made his second attempt with 7.5-seconds to go. He matched Ryan Newman, who was on the bubble, then moved up to 21st — on his third lap with over six minutes to go. 

Paul Menard was one of the last cars on the track but couldn’t break into the top 24. Newman and Landon Cassill made second attempts. Newman climbed up to 22nd and bumped Michael McDowell. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. shot up to seventh (200.161mph) on his first attempt and knocked Matt DiBenedetto out of the final transfer spot. Kahne’s second attempt carried the No. 5 Chevy to 11th quick — 199.275mph.

With less than a minute remaining, Almirola, Menard, Austin Dillon, McDowell and Allmendinger returned to the track. Almirola held on to 24th to transfer to Round 2.

Click on image to watch Keselowski talk about the winning his first pole award at Michigan:


1 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 35.451   203.097
2 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 35.457 0.006 203.063
3 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 35.505 0.054 202.788
4 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 35.542 0.091 202.577
5 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 35.568 0.117 202.429
6 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 35.644 0.193 201.998
7 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 35.664 0.213 201.884
8 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 35.678 0.227 201.805
9 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 35.685 0.234 201.765
10 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 35.697 0.246 201.698
11 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 35.714 0.263 201.602
12 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 35.779 0.328 201.235
13 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 35.774 0.323 201.263
14 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 35.849 0.398 200.842
15 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 35.891 0.440 200.607
16 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 35.916 0.465 200.468
17 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 35.945 0.494 200.306
18 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 35.954 0.503 200.256
19 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 35.968 0.517 200.178
20 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 36.081 0.630 199.551
21 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 36.115 0.664 199.363
22 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 36.122 0.671 199.325
23 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 36.126 0.675 199.302
24 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 36.243 0.792 198.659
25 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 36.408 0.957 197.759
26 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 36.438 0.987 197.596
27 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 36.465 1.014 197.450
28 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 36.550 1.099 196.990
29 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 36.617 1.166 196.630
30 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 36.761 1.310 195.860
31 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 36.892 1.441 195.164
32 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 36.901 1.450 195.117
33 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 36.965 1.514 194.779
34 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 37.015 1.564 194.516
35 83 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 37.070 1.619 194.227
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 37.810 2.359 190.426
37 15 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 38.271 2.820 188.132
38 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 38.468 3.017 187.169
39 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 38.710 3.259 185.998
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