NASCAR Cup: Brad Keselowski on pole at Phoenix

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 07, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 07: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 07, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR’s formula for setting race starting grids that includes the owner points standings and previous race fastest laps and finishing order will put Brad Keselowski on the pole for Sunday’s Instacart 500 Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

Kyle Larson, last weekend’s race winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will start alongside Keselowski on the front row at Phoenix.

“Part of me is surprised, but part of me is not,” Larson said of his recent win. “I thought it might take a little bit of time for us to gel as a team. But we had all the tools to run well and battle for wins, and we were able to win at Las Vegas. But that was last Sunday and our focus is now on Phoenix and what we can do to run well and, hopefully, win there.”

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr. will start third through fifth, with Hamlin and Bell in row two and Truex lining up in row three, next to reigning Cup Series champion and most recent Phoenix race winner Chase Elliott. All four JGR cars will start within the first four rows Sunday, with Kyle Busch starting seventh.

“I’m looking forward to Phoenix this weekend and getting back behind the wheel of my Joe Gibbs Racing Camry,” Hamlin said. “We have Offerpad on our Camry this weekend. It’s always exciting to welcome a new partner into our sport, and I’m thrilled to have them on board with us. Phoenix has historically been a pretty good track for our No. 11 team, so hopefully,  we can continue to build on that success on Sunday. Offerpad is a local company in the Phoenix area, and it would be really cool to get them to victory lane at their home track this weekend.”

Also, all three Team Penske cars will start inside the top-10, with Ryan Blaney in eighth and defending Instacart 500 winner Joey Logano in ninth. Logano will share the fifth row with Larson and Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron. 

Below, is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway:

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