Joey Logano will start from the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.
The Team Penske driver earned his first pole since June 2019 at Michigan International Speedway, laying down a top speed of 170.720 mph around the track “Too Tough To Tame.”
It’s Logano’s 23rd career pole and his first at Darlington.
“It was so much needed, for all of us here. The lat couple of weeks were pretty rough,” Logano told Fox Sports 1.
Logano finished 32nd (Talladega) and 29th (Dover) the last two weeks.
“To come in here to Darlington and recover is really nice,” said Logano, who is driving a throwback paint scheme based on his first quarter midget. “Track position here is really big. long-run speed means so much. So we got to try to keep the long-run speed in it.”
Joining Logano on the front row is Kyle Larson (170.236 mph). The Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished second in the last three races at Darlington.
The top five was completed by Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch.
With Kurt Busch qualifying sixth, four of Toyota’s six cars start in the top 10.
On his qualifying run in Group B, Toyota driver Denny Hamlin experienced a mechanical issue and his No. 11 car lost power. It turned out to be that the underbody diffuser broke and caused the engine to flutter.
“Something started locking up going down the backstretch,” Hamlin told Fox Sports 1. “Just so frustrating right now.”
After replacing the diffuser, Hamlin will start from the rear Sunday.
Prior to qualifying two, 20 minute practice sessions were held with the field split in two.
Austin Cindric posted the best overall lap speed at 167.271 mph.
.That was followed by Logano (166.518 mph) and Hamlin (166.450). Ross Chastain was fourth, but was fastest in the first session at 165.659.
Tyler Reddick was fifth fastest (165.609)
The best 10-lap average was owned by Logano (163.718).
Kevin Harvick experienced an incident in the first session that forced him to go to the garage for repairs. As a results, Harvick couldn’t make a qualifying run and will start from the rear Sunday.
In the second session, Chase Elliott suffered a serious wreck. As he drove through Turn 3, the left-rear tire went down on his No. 9 Chevrolet. That caused him to spin and hit the outside wall hard.
Elliott, who was seventh fastest overall before the incident, will have to go to a backup car.
“I couldn’t get slowed down in time,” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “Hopefully that’s not a trend that continues tomorrow.”
Bet the No. 9 team would love to throwback to before this lap. pic.twitter.com/xUySjaBA8f— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 7, 2022