Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Joey Logano earns Sprint Cup pole at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Joey Logano believes two facts are abundantly clear after he emerged from the organized chaos of NASCAR's first three-round knockout qualifying session Friday with the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The new qualifying system is a whole lot more interesting than the old one. And nobody is quite sure what they're doing yet.

"It gets crazy out there," said Logano, who earned his eighth career pole. "I think it's way cooler than old-style qualifying, don't get me wrong. It's awesome. … We're all learning right now."

The Penske Ford team has figured it out better than most. Logano set a track record with a qualifying lap of 193.28 mph on the 1½-mile track. He'll start on the front row next to teammate Brad Keselowski (193.099). The Penske drivers also swept the top two spots last week at Phoenix, in reverse order.

Fans seemed intrigued, judging by the larger-than-normal crowd for qualifying.

"That's the whole point of this," Logano said.

But drivers are understandably concerned by huge speed disparities that popped up. As some drivers went about 30 mph to cool their engines, others were ripping past at 180 mph or more. Brian Vickers called Friday's session "the most dangerous thing I've ever done in a race car."

Indianapolis 500: The race in May will have a new qualifying format with three rounds over two days, with the pole-sitter emerging from a "Fast Nine Shootout" on what used to be bump day. The fastest nine cars in qualifying on May 17 will reach the shootout; the rest will make a second run on May 18 to determine their starting position.

Joey Logano earns Sprint Cup pole at Las Vegas 03/07/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 10:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101