Monday, February 19, 2018
Sports

Logano wins Michigan pole at nearly 200 mph

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Joey Logano improved his chances of racing to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, posting a lap of 199.557 mph Friday to win the pole at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano said the cars are "out of control," on the 2-mile oval in preparation for Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400.

"It's a lot of fun," he insisted. "You're booking down to the corners at 200 and something."

Logano, who won 11 times the previous two years, start first for the second time this year and the 16th in his career.

"Track position always plays when you're making decisions," he said.

Martin Truex will start second, his ninth start among the top 10 this season. Tony Stewart, who plans to retire at the end of the season, will start third in the 40-car race in his best qualifying performance of the year.

A new aerodynamic package along with wide and slick 2-mile oval, which had drivers going "sideways," according to Truex, should set up for quite a race.

"Sunday is going to be a blast," Truex said. "With that sun being on the racetrack all day, it's going to be slick and fun."

Truex was among 26 drivers who failed their initial NASCAR prequalifying inspection due to not meeting the new aerodynamic guidelines that are debuting this week. His crew was able to get the car approved just as qualifying was starting.

Logano was the second in qualifying the past two weeks at Charlotte and Pocono.

"The latest couple of ones have stung a lot," he acknowledged. "We've won the first two rounds and come in second in the last one. So we figured it out. We won the same amount of rounds, but the right one. This is the one that counts."

INDYCAR: Carlos Munoz earned his first pole in the series with a two-lap average of 217.137 mph at the high-banked Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Scott Dixon, the defending race winner at Texas, qualified second at 216.901 mph. Four-time Texas winner Helio Castroneves starts third on the 1½-mile oval. Munoz, driving for Andretti Motorsports, will be making his 46th career start tonight in the Firestone 600. It is his best qualifying effort since his IndyCar debut in 2013, when he started second at the Indianapolis 500 and finished as the runnerup. … Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi has a new sponsor. Castrol Edge will be the primary sponsor on the No. 98 Honda. NAPA Auto Parts had signed on with Andretti Autosport for the Indy 500 a little under two weeks before Rossi became the first rookie to win the race since 2001. NAPA stayed on with Rossi through last weekend's doubleheader on the road course at Belle Isle.

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