Logano Snares Third Straight "Meijer 300" Pole Award
Two-time and defending "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz" champion Joey Logano scored his third straight NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Speedway pole award with a 177.212-mph (30.472 seconds) lap this afternoon in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 GameStop machine.
Logano, who is the only driver in track history to earn three consecutive poles, will start a Nationwide Series event from the top spot on the grid for the fourth time this season and the seventh time in his series career.
He enters his 10th Nationwide Series start of the season ranked eighth in the championship standings after taking four top-five and eight top-10 finishes this season. He sits 743 points off the series championship pace being set by leader Brad Keselowski, who starts 25th tonight after turning a 172.370-mph (31.328 seconds) his No. 22 Discount Tire car.
"I think we were okay. Obviously qualifying worked pretty good for us," Logano said after turning the fastest series qualifying circuit at the track since 2006.
"These (double-duty) races are hard. It seems we adjusted the car a lot more than we had in practice. The tire is different this year, so that kind of threw us a little bit of a curveball. We got the thing close, I wasn't really happy when I left last night. I know they made some changes to it, so hopefully there's more speed in it. It's a fun racetrack because it's so wide. It's cool because you carry a lot of momentum around here," he added.
Keselowski took his third victory, 10th top-five and 12th top-10 finish of the season from the 24th starting spot on June 5 at Nashville Superspeedway. He holds a 196-point championship lead over Kyle Busch, who will not compete in tonight's 43-car field. Brad Coleman completed an all Joe Gibbs Racing front row with a 174.995-mph (30.858 seconds) lap. He will make his third Nationwide Series Kentucky Speedway start and first since 2008 when he placed 15th. He took a second-place finish in his 2007 series track debut.
Penske Racing driver Justin Allgaier will start third after matching Coleman's qualifying time and speed. Coleman gained the better starting position for his No. 18 Sandvik ride based on owner points. Josh Wise will start fourth after turning a 174.814-mph (30.890 mph) in the No. 7 JR Motorsports car.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and Travel Channel star of "Dhani Tackles the Globe" will give the drivers the command to start engines before the green flag will wave for the "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz" at 8:15 p.m.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
~Kentucky Speedway ~