By: Robbie Mays – @robbiemays | MRN.com on August 11, 2017 | 6:08 P.M. EST
Keselowski won his first pole at his home track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. (Photo: Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Michigan native Brad Keselowski captured his second pole of 2017 and the first of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career at his home track during Friday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Keselowski’s lap of 203.097 mph in the final round of the three-round session led a trio of Fords, which will lead the field to green in Sunday’s race.
“It feels pretty good. I’m not really known as a great qualifier,” Keselowski said. “When I saw we were gonna win the pole it put chills down my body.”
“Paul Wolfe and my team, they kept dialing in on the car and kept working on it. I’ve got goosebumps. It feels really good to run well here at Michigan. This is my home track. A lot of fans here. Really cool. Really special.”
Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano will start second on Sunday in search of a win to grant him a berth in NASCAR’s playoffs.
“It seems like Team Penske has brought some speed, even the 21, and really most of the Fords look pretty good here,” Logano said. “I think we were really good in race trim, too. I feel good about it.”
Logano said the pressure to win to get in the playoffs isn’t a hinderance for him.
“I love the pressure. I’m all right with pressure. It’s good,” Logano said. “I’d rather be in, but the pressure part is ok. You’ve got to get used to that, but that’s what this sport is, especially during the playoffs.”
Kevin Harvick will start third on Sunday with Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott rounding out the top-five fastest qualifiers.
“We ran our fastest lap in the last round. I held it just a little bit too wide getting into one and it chattered two or three times,” Harvick said. “We’ve got good track position. We’ll get a good pit stall. We’ll have all the things we need to start the race, so everything has gone good so far.”
Kyle Larson, who won the last two Monster Energy Series races at Michigan, will start ninth.
“We had a decent first and second round,” Larson said. “The third round I just tried to arch it a little bit more into Turn 1 and I got kind of out up top. Lost a couple tenths there, so disappointed in the last round.”
Ryan Blaney was fastest in Friday’s practice session and led the first two rounds of qualifying but bobbled his lap in the final round and will start 12th on Sunday.
“About backed it into the fence into Turn 1,” Blaney said. “I just got loose over there. You lose time in one corner and you can’t make it up. Hopefully we should be able to drive up through everybody in the race.”
All 39 cars who took time on Friday will start Sunday’s race. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will have two practice sessions on Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s 200-lap, 400 mile race – the 22nd event of the 2017 season.