Joey Logano will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford scored the pole for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway after posting a time of 36.080 and a speed of 199.557 mph.
“It feels good,” Logano said. “Finally, we were able to break through. The last two weeks have stunk for me and my team. We have won the first two rounds the last few weeks and qualified second. Now we figured out how to be second in the first round and first in the last two. That is a good move. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and the effort they put into this new package. This is such an unknown showing up here so it is cool to show what all the engineers and simulation department were able to do to put together a good package off the truck. I am very happy to be driving this car.”
It’s his 16th career pole in 270 Sprint Cup Series starts, second in 15 at Michigan, second of the 2016 season and 11th top-10 start in 2016.
Martin Truex Jr. will start second in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota after posting a time of 36.178 and a speed of 199.016 mph.
“It was definitely an exciting run that third round – we freed the car up quite a bit and it was pretty ‘slideways’ going into turn three so it was a lot of fun out there,” Truex said. “Sunday is going to be a blast – get the tape off and get the race setups in the race cars and get that sun on the track all day. It’s going to get slick and it’s going to be a lot of fun so looking forward to that. All in all, it was a good day for us. We had to work hard on it today and had trouble getting through tech. Our first run was pretty bad, our second run was better and our third run was pretty good so really proud of the guys on the Denver Mattress Furniture Row Toyota. We came out with a good result so it was good. We just keep digging and never give up – front row starting spot is pretty decent.”
He was late getting to the grid in the first round after his car didn’t pass tech inspection the first time through.
“I think the biggest thing was just the track conditions changing so much,” Truex said of getting his car through tech. “It got so much hotter, the pace slowed down quite a bit and anytime that happens it changes these cars considerably. That was the biggest factor. I was fine, I figured I knew we would get through eventually and we would get a lap in when it was ready. Just calm, cool, collected and wait my turn.”
It will be his ninth top-10 start in 2016 and sixth in 21 races at Michigan.
Tony Stewart will start third in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet after posting a time of 36.190 and a speed of 198.950 mph.
“I’m glad that was the last time I had to do that today,” Stewart said of his lap in the final round. “It felt really good. We were really loose in practice and Mike (Bugarewicz, crew chief) did a great job in the break there of making some big changes to get us caught up. It got my confidence back there and made me feel like I finally had the right-rear (tire) in the track there. Now we can hustle a little bit.”
It will be his 10th top-10 start at Michigan and second in seven starts this season.
Denny Hamlin will start fourth in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after posting a time of 36.222 and a speed of 198.774 mph.
“It’s slippery out there,” Hamlin said. “Even though the speeds are up there, averaging 199, a lot of it is straightaway speed. What we really wanted was slower corners and faster straightaways and that’s definitely been achieved so far.”
Ryan Blaney will round out the top-five in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford as the highest starting rookie after posting a time of 36.256 and a speed of 198.588 mph.
“We were really loose the first run, just really, really free and that hurt us a lot,” Blaney said. “They got it a lot better the second run out. They did a good job of getting us better throughout the day. Unfortunately, we had an extra lap on our tires. Who knows what would have happened with one less lap on the tires in the final round.”
Ryan Newman will start sixth in his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Kyle Larson will start seventh in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Austin Dillon will start eighth in his No. 3 RCR Chevrolet. Kyle Busch will start ninth in his No. 18 JGR Toyota. Chase Elliott will round out the top-10 in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Carl Edwards will start 11th in his No. 19 JGR Toyota. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying in his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
During the session in the first round, David Ragan got loose rounding turn 3, slid up the track and made contact with the wall with the right-rear corner of his car. The session was also red-flagged after a brake duct that came from the No. 1 of Jamie McMurray was found on the track in turn 3. Kevin Harvick was caught out on the track by both and was unable to make a lap that would place him higher than 29th.
Twenty-two Chevrolet’s, 11 Ford’s and seven Toyota’s make up the 40-car field. No driver was sent home as 40 cars were entered.