Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Keselowski takes Sprint Cup pole at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. — A few drivers, like Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, raced onto the track to get in their Sprint Cup qualifying sessions Friday. Others waited, some nearly 10 minutes before heading out for the first time.

There were long stretches with almost no activity, followed by mad scrambles to get runs in before time ran out. This first round of NASCAR's new knockout qualifying will take some getting used to.

Keselowski earned the first Sprint Cup pole under the new format, edging Logano with a track-record 139.384 mph for the Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

"It's a lot more nerve-racking," Keselowski said. "Usually a pretty good rule of thumb is that if it's more nerve-racking for the drivers, it's a lot more fun for our fans and partners and all those things, and that's a good thing. I'm more interested in feedback from our fans to see if they liked it."

In the new qualifying process, the entire field runs a 30-minute session, with the top 12 advancing to a 10-minute second session. On bigger tracks, the qualifying will have three sessions, with the field cut to 24, then 12.

Keselowski finished behind Logano in the first session. Keselowski trumped his Penske teammate in the second session to earn his fourth career pole for Sunday's race. Logano qualified second at 139.265.

"Unfortunately, we won the wrong one," Logano said. "We won the first one, and our teammate got the second one, but either way, we both had a chance to win something. He just got the trophy to take the pictures with."

Jamie McMurray qualified third and Jimmie Johnson fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts fifth next to Greg Biffle.

SPONSOR BACKS DANICA: GoDaddy chairman Bob Parsons, whose company sponsors Danica Patrick's car, said his driver would beat Hall of Famer Richard Petty in a race. "Danica would win," Parsons said. "For once, she'd be on a level playing field. Just her against Petty. She's a better driver." Petty, 76, challenged Patrick to a race last week after stating she receives preferential treatment as a female.

Keselowski takes Sprint Cup pole at Phoenix 02/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.