BY AMANDA VINCENT
Joey Logano claimed his third pole of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, so far, on Friday, after posting a 21.248-second/127.071 mph lap during the final round of qualifying at Richmond (Va.) International Speedway for Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400.
“It was surprising to say the least,” Logano said. “That is the most surprising pole we’ve had, I think. Our first run was not stellar by any means. We had to run a third lap to get into the top-24 and the same thing happened during the second run; we had to run an extra lap. I wasn’t feeling good about the laps we put on our tires.”
The extra track time in round one moved Logano up to 10th for the round. He was also 10th at the end of round two.
Logano’s former teammate, Denny Hamlin, will start alongside him on the front row in the second spot. Hamlin posted the fastest lap in the second round before moving on to round three and posting the second-fastest lap tim to Logano.
“Initially, I didn’t think that our car after the first round was going to be capable for a pole position, but after the second, it looked like our car was pretty good, and we just lost a little bit too much grip that final run and came up a little bit short,” Hamlin. “Still, if you would have asked me before the day, I would have taken second and moved on.”
Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger claimed second-row spots on Saturday night’s starting grid. Kevin Harvick took fifth after posting the fastest lap in the opening round and then advancing through the remaining rounds.
Other drivers advancing to the third and final round of qualifying and claiming the sixth through 12th starting spots include Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Larson.
Forty-five drivers made qualifying attempts in the opening round. The two drivers who failed to make the 43-car race were Jeb Burton and Brendan Gaughan.
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