Brad Keselowski topped title contenders Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart in Friday’s qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to take the pole position for the Sylvania 300 — the first event in the 10- race Chase championship.
Keselowski claimed his first career pole with a lap of 133.572 m.p.h., which set a new track qualifying record at New Hampshire. His first pole came in his 44th start. Keselowski currently is 26th in points.
“Our year has been up and down and has been very tumultuous, so hopefully we can carry this momentum into some of the other races,” Keselowski said. “It’s great to do it in the first race of the Chase. I really want to be in it next year.”
Keselowski became the third driver in the series this year to capture his first pole. Joey Logano’s maiden pole came in March at Bristol, and A.J. Allmendinger’s first one occurred in April at Phoenix.
Bowyer, who is seeded last in the 12-driver Chase field, turned a lap of 133.464 m.p.h. around the 1.058-mile oval for the outside pole. Bowyer started on the pole and won his first Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire three years ago, when he was in the Chase for the first time.
“That was a good lap; it felt good,” Bowyer said.
Keselowski and Bowyer best Juan Pablo Montoya’s track qualifying record of 133.431 m.p.h., set one year ago.
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