After leading the lone practice session Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski backed up that fast lap by taking the pole for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. The driver of the No. 2 Ford posted a 196.929 mph lap, enough to best Kevin Harvick‘s 195.993 mph speed. Kyle Busch starts third, followed by Joey Logano. Kyle Larson rounds out the top five.
Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth will start sixth, followed by Kurt Busch. Jimmie Johnson will start alongside the elder Busch brother in the fourth row. Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. round out the top 10.
Among the Chasers that qualified outside the top 10 are Carl Edwards, who will start 13th and Martin Truex Jr., who will start 23rd. Jeff Gordon, who locked himself into the final round with a win last weekend at Martinsville Speedway starts 18th.
“This is a good start, but our ultimate goal is to be the fastest at the end of the race on Sunday. It’s a good start and it gets us up front with a great pit stall, and hopefully we can make the most of it. I am pumped about this race. Track position is important everywhere, and here isn’t as much as maybe a few others because the track wears out and you see some comers and goers with the way the track wears out but we will still take it.”
Keselowski, who currently sits 36 points behind leader Gordon, will likely need a win Sunday or next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway to move on to the final round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.