Brad Keselowski was one of the fastest cars in the morning practice and when it came time for qualifying, he kept up his speed, as he led all three rounds of qualifying to take the pole for Sunday's AAA Texas 500. It is the first career pole at the track for Keselowski, and his 11th pole overall in his career.
In round one, Keselowski led the field after running a 27.23 second lap, which was enough to give him the lead going into round two. Joey Logano was second, while Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Among those drivers who did not make the cut into the second round of qualifying were Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne.
In round two, Keselowski continued to lead the field, as his lap of 27.34 seconds was better then Logano's time of 27.45 seconds. Erik Jones, who is filling in for Matt Kenseth this weekend, placed ninth in the round, which advanced him to the third round. Kyle Larson also made the cut, while Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Jeff Gordon were among the 12 drivers who did not advance to the final round.
In the third round, it was Logano who was leading for a while, but he lost that lead when Keselowski took to the track and ran a 27.42 second lap to take the pole. Kevin Harvick ended up second, with Kyle Busch third, Logano fourth, and Larson fifth. Jones got the sixth starting spot, which is his best start in a Sprint Cup race in his career.
"We had a fast car," Logano said after qualifying. "The track conditions were perfect for us to get a lot of speed. The only thing about Texas is the fact that just because you have a fast car on short runs, that doesn't mean that you will have a fast car on the long runs."
"The pole doesn't mean a lot on Sunday outside of getting the number one pit stall, so we have to go out there and keep going fast, and see what we can do."
"This weekend is a must win for us, and for anybody who is not in the top five in points. I think that we have a really good shot to win two out of the next three races, which is what we will probably need to do to win the championship."
The race is Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. The green flag will drop shortly after 1:00 ET, and the race will be broadcasted on NBC. VAVEL will have full coverage of the race.