In Ford’s backyard, it’ll be Joey Logano – in a blue oval – leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to the green flag in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
Logano topped the final round of NSCS qualifying with a 199.557 mph lap to top Coors Light Pole Qualifying for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
“This feels good,” said Logano. “This is Roger Penske’s back yard, Ford’s back yard, so it’s always a big deal to come here and run good.”
Martin Truex, Jr. overcame issues in pre-qualifying inspection to rise to second in the final round, with Tony Stewart following to claim a popular third-place starting spot.
Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five, with Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott completing the top 10. Carl Edwards dropped to 11th after losing the handle on his No. 19 ARROW Toyota in turn three of the two-mile oval, with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. completing the final round rundown.
The surprise of the session came in the form of early eliminations and technical inspection issues. The start of the session was pushed back by NASCAR officials after more than a dozen teams failed to pass pre-qualifying inspection. In the end, the entire grid made it to the racing surface to post a lap in the opening round, though Truex was still behind the wall when the session began.
When the field did take the green, the first round saw some of the best drivers in the paddock sent home early. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Kevin Harvick each failed to advance after qualifying 27th and 29th, respectively.
In the second round, early favorites including Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson too found struggles. Busch ended his session 18th, with Keselowski and Johnson ending their days in 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
The Cup Series will return to MIS on Saturday, June 11 at 9 a.m. ET for their second practice session.
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.
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