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Keselowski Wins Cup Pole At Las Vegas

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 11 2017

Brad Keselowski drove the No. 4 Penske car to the pole at Las Vegas on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Brad Keselowski won the pole for Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by laying down a lap at the 1.5-mile oval in 27.881 (193.680 mph).

The pole was Keselowski’s first of the season, his first in nine attempts at Las Vegas and the 13th of his career.

And he got it with a less-than-perfect lap that saw him run into trouble in the first two corners.

“I don’t know what the answer is,” said Keselowski, the defending winner at Las Vegas and last week’s winner at Atlanta. “I’ll have to look through a bunch of data, and the smart guys – the engineers and crew chiefs – will probably point some of that stuff out to me. But, yeah, every time I looked at the tracker, the cars that were fast in 1 and 2 weren’t in 3 and 4, and we were the opposite.

“We were really good in 3 and 4… but we’ll take it either way.”

The former Cup champion edged Martin Truex Jr. (193.458 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday’s 400-miler (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) by .003 seconds.

Like Keselowski, Truex missed turns 1 and 2 on the lap that counted but was strong through Turns 3 and 4 in securing his front-row starting spot.

“I felt like we had a pretty well-put-together lap, but it wasn’t perfect,” Truex said. “Not quite as good through Turns 1 and 2 with the bumps as I’d like to be, and it felt like we hit 3 and 4 good. I felt like the bumps in 1 and 2 got us.

“All in all, I felt like we just missed the pace a little bit. We were really strong in practice and thought (the track) would pick up quite a bit of speed tonight, and it didn’t. That threw us a little bit of a curve and kind of hurt our setup. It was a good recovery. We made a lot of changes as qualifying went on and got better at the end. That’s all you can ask for.”

Ryan Blaney qualified third after setting the fastest lap of the day (194.147 mph) in the second of the three rounds. Matt Kenseth will start fourth, followed by Kyle Larson and Joey Logano.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Kobalt 400

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, March 10, 2017

  1. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 193.680 mph.
  2. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 193.458 mph.
  3. (21)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 193.410 mph.
  4. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 193.389 mph.
  5. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 193.161 mph.
  6. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 193.140 mph.
  7. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 193.133 mph.
  8. (77)  Erik Jones #, Toyota, 192.369 mph.
  9. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 192.362 mph.
  10. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 192.362 mph.
  11. (19)  Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 191.966 mph.
  12. (24)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 191.042 mph.
  13. (14)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 192.623 mph.
  14. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 192.431 mph.
  15. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 192.356 mph.
  16. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 192.267 mph.
  17. (41)  Kurt Busch, Ford, 192.089 mph.
  18. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 192.068 mph.
  19. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 191.700 mph.
  20. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 191.639 mph.
  21. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 191.523 mph.
  22. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 191.029 mph.
  23. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 190.638 mph.
  24. (13)  Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 188.864 mph.
  25. (37)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 190.570 mph.
  26. (95)  Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 190.402 mph.
  27. (34)  Landon Cassill, Ford, 190.208 mph.
  28. (10)  Danica Patrick, Ford, 189.954 mph.
  29. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 189.553 mph.
  30. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 189.401 mph.
  31. (32)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 187.813 mph.
  32. (38)  David Ragan, Ford, 186.716 mph.
  33. (72)  Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 185.752 mph.
  34. (83)  Corey LaJoie #, Toyota, 185.554 mph.
  35. (23)  Gray Gaulding #, Toyota, 185.008 mph.
  36. (33)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 182.624 mph.
  37. (15)  Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 180.301 mph.
  38. (55)  Derrike Cope #, Chevrolet, 177.468 mph.
  39. (51)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 174.876 mph.
| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 11 2017
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