Keselowski zips to Cup pole at Richmond

For the 11th race this season, the Blue Deuce will start on the front row

 Keselowski zips to Cup pole at Richmond
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Richmond, Va. - In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at the Richmond International Speedway, Brad Keselowski soared to the pole with speed of126.618 miles per hour around the banked .75-mile track.

Qualifications were being held for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400, the last race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins next weekend.

It has been a great day so far. I think I have run about eight or nine races at Richmond, and this is by far the best car I have had

Brad Keselowski

Driving the Miller Lite Ford, Keselowski gained his fourth pole of the season and earned his 11th front-row start in 2014.

Said the Michigan native, “It has been a great day so far. I think I have run about eight or nine races at Richmond, and this is by far the best car I have had. I feel like we have a strong shot at winning this weekend. I am very excited about that and I am excited about the pole. I would like to get that fourth win (to earn the top seed in the Chase).

Today was tough with the new tire, and it was a frustrating day too

Jeff Gordon

"We have three wins and something we can hang our hat on going into the Chase. There are five guys tied for first (with three wins), and I think we are all about the same. It would be kind of neat to be the lead dog, and I think we have a shot at the win. I am still very, very hungry and am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Taking the outside front-row starting position was Jeff Gordon.

“Today was tough with the new tire, and it was a frustrating day too,” Gordon said, addressing the lengthy daytime practice runs. “I have been confused most of the day, even in qualifying. I was sliding up the track and running a groove I didn’t want to run.

"We were fast in the first round and second in the final run. Brad (Keselowski) put a great lap up there; it was incredible run. I am proud to be on the front row.”

The best of the rest

Row two qualifiers were Chevrolet drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top-12 were Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman.

Bowyer, Stenhouse, Larson and Newman have not qualified for the Chase and a win would put one of them in the field.

In the first round of knock-out qualifying, Gordon led the way at 125.927 mph with Johnson, Logano, Harvick, Stenhouse, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Newman, Larson and Edwards falling in the speed line behind him.

Danica Patrick had a solid run to qualify 13th, missing the top-12 by just .02 hundredths of a second. Tony Stewart qualified 19t and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 24th.

Matt Kenseth, who lacks a win but leads in the non-winner point tally, timed 16th.

shares
comments
Kyle Larson is still hoping for coveted Chase spot

Previous article

Kyle Larson is still hoping for coveted Chase spot

Next article

Spingate one year later: the anniversary MWR would prefer to forget

Spingate one year later: the anniversary MWR would prefer to forget
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020