WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Setting a new track record of 1:11:018 (124.194 mph), Brad Keselowski earned his 18th career pole — and his fourth of 2014 — in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen International. With his teammate Joey Logano right on his tail starting second, Team Penske has set the bar for today’s Zippo 200.
[Read more: Zippo 200 at The Glen starting lineup]
“I’ve never had a road course pole before,” said Keselowski. “So this is very special to me personally.”
In round one of qualifying, top drivers like Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose and Paul Menard — who will all compete in the Sprint Cup Series race tomorrow — were in the top-five speeds and were sure threats to take pole position.
Points leader Chase Elliott would struggle in the first session and only be able to manage a 15th-place time–– tying his worst career start outside of Daytona and Talladega.
A rundown of the 12 drivers who competed in round two shows a lot of what we expected, but also a couple pleasant surprises mixed in.
Busch, Regan Smith, Brian Scott and Ty Dillon qualified solidly among the top eight spots.
Winner of the most recent road course race in the Nationwide Series, coming at Road America, Brendan Gaughan made it to round two and will start in the ninth spot ahead of NSCS veteran Matt Kenseth. Two NNS rookies of Chris Buescher and Dylan Kwasniewski clocked laps worthy of 11th and 12th respectively.
Ambrose — who will have so much on the line for the NSCS race tomorrow afternoon — was fourth fastest and will no doubt be a contender for the race win against the Penske duo.
Television coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen begins at 2pm ET Saturday on ABC, and can also be listened to on MRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90. Additionally, be sure to follow Rubbings Racing on Twitter and Facebook for in-race analysis.