(AVONDALE, Ariz.) — Brad Keselowksi set a track-record top speed of 139.384 mph at Phoenix International Raceway Friday to win the pole for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race on Sunday.
This was the first Sprint Cup pole that was decided by NASCAR’s new format. In the old format drivers would go out one at a time. Now everyone in the field gets on the track for 30 minutes and the 12 drivers with the fastest laps before time expires move to a second round. The second round lasts 10 minutes and whoever has the fastest lap wins the pole. If the race is held on one of the bigger tracks there will be three rounds, with the cuts being at 24 then 12.
“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 more interested in feedback from our fans to see if they liked it.”
Keselowski’s Penske Racing teammate, Joey Lagono, qualified second and Jamie McMurray finishes third. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. round out the top five finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
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