Keselowski, Team Penske dominate qualifying
Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images
Brad Keselowski poses with the Coors Light Pole flag Friday at Richmond. Keselowski scored his fourth pole of 2014.
With a lap time of 21.324 seconds, Brad Keselowski scored his fourth pole of 2014 Friday at Richmond International Raceway.
Keselowski won the pole by a margin of nearly a tenth of a second over outside pole sitter Jeff Gordon.
“This is by far the best car I've had [at Richmond],” Keselowski said to the media Friday. “I feel like we have a really strong shot of winning this weekend—so very, very excited about that. Everybody says they're excited, but when you sit on the pole and you're fast at practice, you got a real reason to be excited.”
With the pole run Friday, Keselowski is entitled to the first pit stall on pit road. While the stall doesn’t guarantee first off of pit road during pit stops, Keselowski acknowledges the stall might come into play at the end of the race.
Photo by Benjamin Palmer/TheRacingExperts.com
Brad Keselowski turns laps at Phoenix International Raceway in March.
“This race almost every year comes down to a 30 or 40 lap sprint at the end, which usually entails pit stops beforehand,” Keselowski said. “If you can get that little bit of track position in that pit cycle, that could be the difference between winning and finishing second, third or fourth.”
With an average starting position of 6.8 heading into Richmond, Keselowski will make his 11th front row start of the season Saturday night. The 30-year-old driver currently holds the best starting average through 25 races.
Combined with teammate Joey Logano, Team Penske has 18 front row starts and four pole position starts in 2014.
In a season where Keselowski has won three times and has a career-high in laps led (895), the 2012 champion hopes to distance himself Saturday night from the competition.
“It would be nice to put up another win and be kind of the lead dog, so to speak,” Keselowski said. “I think we certainly have a shot at that.”
Keselowski has led a combined 256 laps in the last two Richmond races. In ten career races at Richmond, he has scored three top-ten finishes, including a career-best fourth in the spring 2014 race.