Friday, June 24, 2011

Logano Captures Sonoma Pole

Sports News Wire Service

Logano on pole for second time in career
SONOMA, Calif. -- Negotiating all the turns at Infineon Raceway like a veteran road-course racer, Joey Logano won the pole for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The Coors Light Pole Award was the second for Logano, who posted a lap at 93.256 mph and watched as the 12 drivers who followed him in Friday's time trials failed to run faster. Jamie McMurray (93.223 mph) qualified second, and Paul Menard (93.176 mph) claimed the third starting position.

Those who might have expected road-course aces Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya to top the qualifying speed chart got a surprise. Ambrose posted the eighth-fastest time, and Montoya was 17th.

Denny Hamlin qualified fourth, followed by Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger and Ambrose.

Road-course specialist Tony Ave, subbing for Travis Kvapil in the No. 38 Ford, failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

Starting Lineup

Sonoma Qualifying Notes
• Joey Logano scored his second career pole in his 91st race and first in three races at Infineon; his fist career pole came at Bristo in March 2010.
• Joey Logano is the youngest driver to score a road-course pole (21 years, 1 month); the previous youngest road-course pole winner was Parnelli Jones at Riverside in 1958 (24 years, 9 months, 18 days).
• Joey Logano's previous best road-course start was 12th in 2009 at Infineon.
• Joey Logano Was the 13th-fastest driver in the opening practice.
• Joe Gibbs Racing scored its 52nd career pole, second at Infineon (second on a road course) and first of 2011.
• Jamie McMurray (second) posted his third front-row start at Infineon.
• Paul Menard (third) posted his first top-10 start on a road course.
• Denny Hamlin (fourth) scored his first top-10 start at Infineon.
• Ryan Newman (fifth) posted his fifth top-10 start in the past six races at Infineon.
• Kasey Kahne (sixth) posted his sixth consecutive top-10 start at Infineon; he is the only driver in the top 10 with a road-course win.
• Kurt Busch (11th) ended a streak of three consecutive poles; he was fastest in the first practice.
• Mark Martin (16th) made two time-trial attempts because there was metal on the track during his first attempt; he picked up four-tenths on his second run (he would have started 25th based on his first run).
• Andy Pilgrim (43rd) will make his Cup debut.
• David Mayhew qualified the No. 66 in 38th; Michael McDowell is expected to race the car.
• Five drivers have won from the pole at Infineon, most recently Jeff Gordon in 2004.
• Seventeen of 22 races at Infineon have been won from a top-10 start, 14 from the top five.
• Three of the past five races at Infineon have been won from outside the top 10; two were won from 30th or worse.

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