Penske sweeps front row again

Team Penske looks strong again in knockout qualifying.

Team Penske swept a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting grid front row for the second-consecutive week on Friday, with Joey Logano claiming the pole for his No. 22 Ford for Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We got kind of screwed up the first time," Logano said of not posting such a great time in the first of three rounds of qualifying. "We almost didn't make it the first round."

He'll be joined on the front row by teammate Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Ford. Logano's pole-winning lap clocked in at 27.939 seconds, while Keselowski made a lap in 29.965 seconds in the third and final round of qualifying. Both times were faster than the old track qualifying record.

"I knew Joey was going to be it (pole winner)," Keselowski said. "The cars at Team Penske are so consistent, so you know if you leave a little out there, your teammate is going to get it."

The No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of Clint Bowyer and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Austin Dillon will share the second row on the starting grid. The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five in qualifying.

Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

Photo by: Getty Images

Friday's Las Vegas qualifying session was the series' first three-round qualifying session. Several drivers bettered the old track qualifying record in that first round, including Keselowski, Dillon, the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet of Martin Truex Jr., Bowyer, The No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of Brian Vickers the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Kasey Kahne, the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet of Jamie McMurray and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon.

Despite all four of its cars posting previous record-beating lap times in the first round, Hendrick Motorsports sent only Johnson to the final round of 12. Earnhardt wound up with the 14th starting spot after the second round and Gordon the 15th.

Kahne came close to advancing to the top-12, but fell just short on a final run in the final seconds of the second round after his team replaced one of his tires because of a hole. According to Kahne, he ran out of time waiting on NASCAR to decide whether or not to let his team replace his tire. In the end, he wound up 13th.

"t was really close," Kahne said. "Just missed it by 0.002."

Vickers was the fastest in the first round of qualifying, but wound up ninth after the session was over. Other top-10 starters on Sunday will be the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in sixth, McMurray in seventh, the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Aric Almirola in eighth, and the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Newman in 10th.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Richard Petty , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Vickers , Chip Ganassi , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Aric Almirola , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Joey Logano , Austin Dillon
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports , Richard Petty Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags brad keselowski, ford, joey logano, las vegas, pole award, qualifying, qualifying times, roger penske