In the second week of NASCAR’s new knockout pole system, Penske Ford produced the two best times once again and Joey Logano earned his eighth career poll ahead of Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Logano sped off a new track-record 193.28 mph lap, and teammate Brad Keselowski was second at 193.099. The pair flipped last week’s inaugural spin with the new knockout system, which gives drivers 30 and 10-minute time windows to post their fastest lap.
Thus far the system agrees with Team Penske.
"It gets crazy out there," Logano said after his win. "I think it's way cooler than old-style qualifying, don't get me wrong. It's awesome. ... We're all learning right now. It's all new to us, but we're having fun with it. I enjoy it. I think it's cool."
Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer will make his best start of the season so far in the third slot running a 192.713 lap, and rookie Austin Dillon was close behind in fourth with 192.678. Defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson rounds out the top five, and goes for this third straight top 10 finish after just five events this year.
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After taking the pole in Daytona, Dillon came back to earth with a 24th place finish last week in Phoenix. However his excellent lap this week should provide a huge boost of confidence.
Currently 13th in the standings, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the only member of Roush Fenway to crack the top 10 rows, and he’ll look to improve on his 18th place finish last year in Vegas.
Matt Kenseth took last year’s race after starting from the 18th row, and besting Kasey Kahne despite the Hendricks driver leading for 114 laps. Kenseth will begin Sunday from the 29th row, and Kahne the 13th.
TV Channel: FOX
Start Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. EST
6.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
12.Martin Truex Jr.
14.Dale Earnhardt Jr.