Keselowski Scores Home State Pole

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Brad Keselowski won the pole for the Pure Michigan 400. (NASCAR Photo)

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Michigan native Brad Keselowski led a Team Penske sweep of the front row during qualifying for the Pure Michigan 400 on Friday at Michigan Int’l Speedway.

Keselowski put his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford on the pole with a 35.451-second lap at 203.097 mph during the final round of qualifying. He edged his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, who came just .006 of a second short of earning the top spot.

“It feels really good. It kind of feels like the first time,” said Keselowski after the 14th pole of his career and first at his home state track. “This is a track that probably isn’t my best track, even though it’s my hometown track. I’m not sure how that all works out. The team did a great job, made some adjustments in the round and tuned it up to where I was really comfortable. I laid down a heck of a lap

“I’m really happy for my team and for the effort they put into to get these results and to find find some speed this week.”

Logano, who is looking for a victory to lock himself into the playoffs, was impressed with the speed his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford showed on Friday.

“It seems like Team Penske has brought some speed,” Logano said. “Really most of the Fords have looked pretty good here. That’s a good sign. I think we are really good in race trim too. I feel really good about it.”

Kevin Harvick qualified third to give Ford a sweep of the top-three positions. Matt Kenseth was the fastest Toyota in fourth, followed by Chevrolet driver Chase Elliott in fifth.  Kyle Busch’s three-race pole winning streak ended with his sixth-place qualifying effort. Jamie McMurray will start seventh, with rookie Erik Jones lining up eighth.

Defending race winner Kyle Larson, who will race in Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway, qualified ninth. Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Blaney completed the top dozen in qualifying.

Blaney appeared to have the best car throughout the day, leading practice early in the afternoon. He also paced the opening two rounds of qualifying, setting the fastest time of the day with a 35.447-second lap at 203.120 mph.

However, during his qualifying attempt in the final round round of qualifying, Blaney’s Ford bobbled in turn one and he lost enough speed to end his chances of winning the pole.