Brad Keselowski wins Cup pole at New Hampshire
Brad Keselowski scored his first Cup pole since 2017, taking the top spot Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski topped the field with a lap of 136.384 mph. This is Keselowski’s 15th career Cup pole and first since Michigan in August 2017, a span of 68 races.
Keselowski’s run denied Toyota its first pole of the season. Keselowski will be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (136.311 mph).
MORE: Cup qualifying results
Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Kentucky, will start third after a lap of 136.238 mph. Erik Jones qualified fourth with a lap of 136.189 mph.
Jones’ performance is part of a promising week for him. He stated Friday that he is “close” to signing an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones’ contract expires after this season.
Ryan Blaney completed the top five with a lap of 136.116 mph. Martin Truex Jr. qualified sixth at 136.082 mph, and Matt DiBenedetto qualified a career-best seventh at 135.990 mph. DiBenedetto’s previous best Cup start was ninth in this year’s Daytona 500.
Alex Bowman had a driveshaft failure on his qualifying run and did not complete a lap. He will start at the rear of the field.
“Just a big boom going down the front straightaway and smoke and oil everywhere,” Bowman told NBCSN.
Bowman will go to a backup car.
Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman also will start at the rear of the field because they both went to backup cars after separate incidents late in Friday’s only Cup practice session.
Andy Seuss (qualified 35th) and Austin Theriault (36th) both will be making their Cup debut Sunday.
Daniel Hemric qualified 19th. His car failed inspection twice before qualifying and a crew member was ejected.