(VIA NASCAR) PHOENIX, Ariz. – Joey Logano launched his way to the top of the heap in Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Friday at Phoenix Raceway, claiming the first starting spot for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event.
Logano drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford to a best lap of 137.321 mph in the last of three rounds of qualifying on the 1-mile track. The pole award was Logano’s first of the season, first at the Arizona oval and the 18th of his Monster Energy Series career. Logano is the most recent winner at the 1-mile track, prevailing in the desert last November.
“I didn’t think it was going to be quite good enough, but I pushed as hard as I could,” Logano told FOX Sports after his fast final lap. “Sometimes you overdrive it a little bit and you still make speed, so proud of this team and proud of this Ford front row. That’s a pretty special deal, so excited for the race now.”
Ryan Blaney will share the front row for Sunday’s Camping World 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the second event in the three-race NASCAR Goes West swing. He powered the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford to the second-fastest lap of the final qualifying session at 136.877 mph.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start third in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet after a lap of 136.783 mph. Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson (136.654 mph) and Jamie McMurray (136.302 mph) completed the top five, respectively.
Kyle Busch, who won the pole for Phoenix’s March date last year, landed the ninth-fastest lap in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota.
Kevin Harvick, the defending race winner with eight Phoenix victories in his career, was just 23rd-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford. Martin Truex Jr., last week’s winner at Las Vegas, was 16th-fastest in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. Both drivers were unable to make the 12-driver cut for the final round of qualifying.
A pair of practice sessions are on tap for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday, the final prep for Sunday’s 312-mile main event.C1704_STARTROW