Logano to Pace the Chase

Joey Logano

Logano set a new track record with a lap of 189.414 mph. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)


Starting Lineup | Qualifying Results

JOLIET, Ill. - Joey Logano will start his first run at a Sprint Cup championship from the pole when he recorded a new Chicagoland Speedway qualifying record of 189.414 mph.

After his Penske Racing team was put on probation earlier today until Dec. 31 for actions detrimental to stock car racing following last weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway (See Also: Logano: "We Deserve to be in it"), Logano went out and led a 1-2 sweep for the two-car operation with his seventh career pole in qualifying for Sunday's GEICO 400.

"This Shell Pennzoil Ford and this whole 22 Team and all of Penske Racing have been working their guts off, and it shows today when you have a Penske one-two front starting positions like that," Logano said. "That's a really big deal for everybody that works at the shop. It shows. When you come to this point of the season, everyone pick it's up a little bit if you get into this Chase."

Coming into today Logano didn't have any concerns to NASCAR's ruling about radio conversations at Richmond between the No. 22 and No. 38 teams, which was announced during a press conference at 4 ET.

"I felt like I did a good job being able to stay focused in here and focused on doing what we have to do," Logano said. "There wasn't any worry in my mind that we weren't going to be in the Chase. I felt like we deserved to be here."

Logano's teammate and defending race winner and series champion Brad Keselowski, who is not in this year's Chase, posted a lap of 189.248 mph.

"I wish it was with us being the Chase, because I honestly feel like we can win this race and win a lot of the mile and a halves with some of the things we've been working on," Keselowski said. "So, you know, but that's not the reality, and the reality is we've got to work and do the best we can to go out there and win some races. We still have a lot to prove about ourselves and our team and just, even though we're not the Chase, I'm still looking forward to the next ten weeks and being able to win races and have that opportunity."

Both Logano and Keselowski tested at Chicagoland last month.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Chase driver Kasey Kahne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who topped the first practice session, rounded out the top five.

Jeff Gordon, who was added to the Chase earlier today by NASCAR following a review of the end of the Richmond race, qualified sixth.

“Oh, it’s been a roller coaster ride this week and an unusual set of circumstances," Gordon said. "I’ve never been a part of anything like this before. But for my team and my fans that that have been overwhelming supportive this week, for the tough decisions that NASCAR has to make, and for Drive to End Hunger, I’m extremely happy about this. We’re proud to be in it, and now an incredible set of opportunities lie on our shoulders to go out there and show that we belong in this Chase.”

Chase drivers Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth completed the top 10.

“The car was better than the driver," said Kenseth, who enters Sunday's race as the No. 1 seed. "It had good speed, drove a lot better in practice, so I was encouraged by it. Just didn’t  get the best lap.”

Clint Bowyer, who was part of this week's controversy along with his Michael Waltrip Racing team, qualified 24th, the worst among the 13 Chase drivers.

Justin Allgaier qualified 36th for his Sprint Cup debut driving the No. 51 Chevrolet.

Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Sunday's GEICO 400 starting at 1 p.m. ET with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

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