By AMANDA VINCENT
Brad Keselowski turned in a 27.492-second/178.874 mph lap during the third and final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway Saturday to claim the pole for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. It’s his first pole of the season and the first of his career at Darlington.
“We had a really good Miller High Life Ford and (crew chief) Paul Wolfe made good adjustments each round,” Keselowski said. “The track was changing and the car was falling off as the tires were falling off and it is hot, so the track was hard to get ahold of, but the car is fast and my team did a great job. We just executed when it counted.”
Keselowski will share the front row with Kurt Busch, while Busch’s Stewart-Haas teammate Kevin Harvick starts third, in the second row next to Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano.
Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
Keselowski was also fastest in the second round of qualifying, posting a 27.442-second/179.200 mph lap. Harvick was second in the second round. Busch was fastest in lap one with a lap of 27.396 seconds/179.501 mph, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted the second-fastest lap in round one.
Below, is the complete starting lineup for the Southern 500:
Row 1 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 3 — Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 4 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Chevrolet), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 5 — Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 6 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 8 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 10 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — David Ragan (No. 55 Toyota), Chase Elliott (No. 25 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford)
Row 13 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Justin Allgaier (No. 51 Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Toyota)
Row 15 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Landon Cassill (No. 40 Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 9 Ford), A.J. Alllmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 18 — Alex Bowman (No. 7 Chevrolet), J.J.Yeley (No. 26 Toyota)
Row 19 — Cole Whitt (No. 35 Ford), David Gilliland (No. 38 Ford)
Row 20 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Brett Moffitt (No. 34 Ford)
Row 21 — Jeb Burton (No. 23 Toyota), Mike Bliss (No. 33 Chevrolet)
Row 22 — T.J. Bell (No. 98 Ford)
DNQ (did not qualify) — Josh Wise, Timmy Hill, Travis Kvapil
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