Sunday, June 17, 2018
Sports

Joey Logano earns Sprint Cup pole at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Joey Logano earned the pole Friday at Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's Sprint Cup race, setting up a shot at his fourth consecutive win and a quick berth into NASCAR's championship race.

And he didn't sound worried about who might be behind him or what they'll do if they catch him.

Logano turned a lap at 98.548 to earn the top starting spot on the 0.526-mile track for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. Should Logano win Sunday, he'll be the first driver since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to win four straight Cup races.

"We're doing everything right, but all that can end in a blink of an eye," Logano said.

Especially when somebody's still mad at you.

Matt Kenseth has been upset with Logano since the Oct. 17 race at Kansas, where Logano spun Kenseth with five laps left and went on to win. That was a huge factor in Kenseth's elimination from the Chase for the Championship, which was cut from 12 drivers to eight last weekend.

Kyle Busch indicated this week that Logano will have to look over his shoulder during this third round of the Chase.

"He knew Matt Kenseth was going to be a strong competitor for the championship (in the finale) at Homestead, so he eliminated him," Busch said. "Now he's going to have to worry about that all the way to Homestead."

Last week's race at Talladega, with its dangerous pack racing at around 200 mph, isn't the place to get back at somebody if you're so inclined. Martinsville is — it's NASCAR's slowest and shortest track and retaliation is common.

But before qualifying, Logano said he's not thinking about what other drivers might have planned.

"We're focused on winning the race," he said. "That's what we can control. We can't control anybody else's thinking or what's in their mind."

Martin Truex qualified second and was thrilled.

"We didn't know going into qualifying we'd have that good of speed," Truex said. "Definitely a good start to the weekend for us."

NHRA: Antron Brown led the first day of Top Fuel qualifying at the Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas with a run of 3.722 seconds at 326.95 mph. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also led their classes.

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