NASCAR Cup: Rain mist at Dover gets pole for Brad Keselowski
The No. 2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Misting rain Friday afternoon and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race scheduled for later on Friday resulted in the cancellation of Sprint Cup qualifying at Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s Citizen Soldier 400. The Sprint Cup Series has yet to hold a qualifying session for a 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup race, as qualifying also was rained-out at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., two weekends ago and last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
As a result of the cancellation, the starting grid for Sunday’s race was set by owner points, putting Brad Keselowski on the pole and Martin Truex next to him on the front row.
“It’s great and my team guys were the first to tell me that we earned it, because we obviously have been having a great season, maybe not with what we had done on-track today [in practice], but with what we had done throughout the course of the year and scoring a lot of points and winning races,” Keselowski said. “So, it’s certainly still something to be very proud of to be this far into the season and being the points leader, so these are the perks you get when you’re in that position. We’ll take it. Of course, being up front gives us a very advantageous pit road selection for this race, which I think is very critical, so we’ve got a lot to smile about and be happy, but also a lot of work left to do.”
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will start behind Keselowski and Truex in row two.
With driver points mirroring car owner point most of the way down the points standings, at least through the 16-driver/team Chase field, the 16 Chasers will start in close quarters in the first eight rows.
“I think it makes it more fun to watch, at least at the start, because you’ve got the 12th and 13th-place car right next to each other,” Keselowski said. “That should be compelling to watch. I won’t get to see it, but you will. That will be fun to watch. Other than that, those things have a way of working their way out — the good teams and the best cars on that particular day. Or the worst ones will find their way to the back. But at the start, it will certainly be very compelling.”
Below, is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway:
Row 1 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota)
Row 2 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 3 — Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet), Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 6 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), Chris Buescher (No. 34 Ford)
Row 9 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (No. 88 Chevrolet — fill-in for Dale Earnhardt Jr.)
Row 10 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 11 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 12 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 15 — Caey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet), Ty Dillon (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Landon Cassill (No. 38 Ford), David Ragan (No. 23 Toyota)
Row 17 — Regan Smith (No. 7 Chevrolet), Brian Scott (No. 44 Ford)
Row 18 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Timmy Hill (No. 98 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 32 Ford)
Row 20 — Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Toyota), Josh Wise (No. 30 Chevrolet)