For the second NASCAR Cup Series race this young season, Joey Logano will start on the pole.

Speeding around windswept Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 29.291 seconds (184.357 mph) in the final round of Saturday‘s time trials, Logano will occupy the top spot in the grid for Sunday‘s Pennzoil 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

A three-time winner at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway—tied with Brad Keselowski for most among full-time active drivers—Logano beat Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson (184.225 mph) for the pole position by 0.021 seconds.

The Busch Light Pole Award was Logano‘s his third at Las Vegas and the 30th of his career. It was also unexpected, based on Logano‘s performance in practice.

“I didn‘t expect it when I saw our short-run speed in practice,” Logano said. “We showed that we had great long-run speed. Our second run, we made an adjustment and went back out and like, ‘Oh, wow, we‘re really competitive.‘ The car was driving pretty good.

“So I felt really good that, but our short run, our fire-off, we weren‘t real fast… and I barely made it through the first round (of qualifying) by the skin of our teeth.”
Logano said the wind, which stiffened between rounds, was a significant factor in his pole-winning run in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.

“I‘ve got to think it‘s wind that made the difference,” Logano said. “The first run, I was pretty slow through (Turns) 1 and 2 all the way through the corner… we (must have) had a big gust the first run, or something that held us back a little bit.

“That doesn‘t seem to make sense. We were really good through 1 and 2 the second time. The first time we were horrible through there.”

Logano‘s Team Penske teammate Austin Cindric (184.093 mph) qualified third, followed by DAYTONA 500 winner William Byron (183.911 mph), as Fords and Chevrolets split the top four grid positions.

Bubba Wallace (183.648 mph) was fifth in the fastest Toyota. Chase Briscoe, Martin Truex Jr., Ty Gibbs, Chris Buescher and Christopher Bell will start sixth through 10th, respectively in Sunday‘s race.

Logano, who won the pole for the DAYTONA 500, qualified second for last Sunday‘s race at Atlanta using a webbed glove on his left hand, presumably for an aerodynamic advantage by blocking more airflow through the car.

But the glove did not conform to mandated safety standards. For the violation, he lost his starting spot and incurred a fine of $10,000.

“I‘m going to take a portion of the responsibility for that, too,” said Logano. “I didn‘t build the glove. I didn‘t make it on my own—I can‘t sew, OK? That‘s what it was, and we had a conversation about it.

“What I‘m proud about is that, as a team, even though it was a tough situation to us and hard to go through, embarrassing for sure, but the fact that we got though it and just move on and focus on the next week.

We showed we have speed in our race car and put it on the pole.

“To me, it‘s a statement-type lap.”

— NASCAR Newswire —

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