Keselowski Speeds to Charlotte Pole
May 26, 2011 | 8:35 P.M. EST
Brad Keselowski scored his second career Sprint Cup Series pole. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski turned a lap of 192.089 mph in Thursday night's qualifying session to earn the top spot for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Keselowski grabbed his second career Sprint Cup Series pole and will take the green flag on Sunday in the longest race of the season from his best-ever starting spot at CMS.
“We’ve had some fast cars in recent weeks for sure,” said Keselowski, who won his first career Cup pole last September at New Hampshire. “We ran well last week here and this team has been working so hard to get us going in the right direction. This pole shows that and hopefully we can carry it into Sunday’s race.”
Richard Petty Motorsports driver AJ Allmendinger will start outside the front row with last week’s Sprint All-Star Race winner Carl Edwards third.
Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton rounded out the first five qualifiers.
Jimmie Johnson, David Reutimann, David Ragan, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Clint Bowyer completed the top 10.
Stenhouse, who stepped into the Wood Brothers Racing Ford to replace Trevor Bayne as a precautionary measure, will be making his first career Sprint Cup Series start.
The young driver scored his first career Nationwide Series win last Sunday at Iowa Speedway and since the Wood Brothers entry was outside the Top 35 in owner points standings, Stenhouse was forced to qualify for the race on speed.
"I think one of the key things we have going is Jack (Roush) is supportive of both of us," Stenhouse said of replacing his good friend Bayne. "Everyone at Roush Fenway, Ford Racing, the Wood Brothers – and Trevor – knows that's his seat.
"This is just one race. Even if he did win it, he would still be back in the car. It's nothing that's going to take his job away, and I think that's something he knows. And I know that. I'm glad that I wouldn't be able to take that from him, because I definitely wouldn't like to do that."
Five drivers failed to qualify for the race: Scott Riggs, Tony Raines, Scott Wimmer, TJ Bell and Andy Lally, who spun out during his qualifying effort.
Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 is slated for a 6 p.m. (ET) green flag.