Ambrose Leads High-Speed Qualifying Parade
Marcos Ambrose of Richard Petty Motorsports won the pole on Saturday for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Ambrose won the pole with the fastest qualifying lap in track history – 203.241 mph. It is Ambrose’s first Cup pole.
“Lightning fast,” Ambrose said.
The record run came on a newly repaved MIS surface which has been producing big speeds since cars arrived for testing at mid week.
“I left a little bit out there,” Ambrose said. “I got greedy into Turn 3. The Stanley team at Richard Petty Motorsports did an outstanding job for us. This is a really great hot rod and I am proud to represent them. We get to start in the front and that is all you can ask for. We are going to try the tire change tonight and see how our car adapts to that.”
Second fastest in qualifying was Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress racing. He had a lap at 202.037 mph.
“I was really loose coming to the green and I got up out of the groove,” Harvick said. “So I knew that if I didn’t stop, I was going to have a bad lap and it’s kind of a catch-22 with the temperatures there and obviously that didn’t help us coming to the checkered. But all in all, it’s better than it was going to be if I’d have come to the green that way. So, it was a decent lap.”
Third was Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing. His speed was 201.816 mph.
“I think the car drove really good but I fell off of (Turn) 4 down the front that this wind now that seems to be coming up,” Biffle said. “I didn’t feel that when I walked out tot pit road. It felt like three-quarters of the way the car was good and then lost a lot of speed. It didn’t feel like it accelerated from turn four to the start finish, like something was wrong with the motor. I got out of the car and feel this strong wind and that could have had a little to do with the lap time. I got about all I could get I think out of the car. I thought there would be more grip in one and two so I backed it down a little bit in three and four and it might have cost me.”
Kasey Kahne in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was fourth and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman was fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Matt Kenseth, Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson.
In all, 19 drivers qualified at over 200 mph.
“I am still shaking, man that is fast out there,” Bayne said. “I wish I could have got a little more out of it but I just didn’t trust it on entry. It got a little loose on me and was more free than yesterday. Not sure if that is the track or the heat. I wish I could have drove in a little deeper. I think I could have got another tenth or so. It isn’t a bad starting spot though. We will take a top-10 here. We haven’t been at the track in a little bit so these guys are doing a great job keeping up with these full time people. It is just a good opportunity for Ford and for me to be out here on this race track. It is a cool place.”
(This story will be updated shortly)One Comment