Logano blitzes Bristol to earn first pole of career
Becomes youngest driver to win Cup pole by one day
March 19, 2010
07:40 PM EDT
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Streaking around .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in 15.396 seconds (124.630 mph) Friday, Joey Logano won the first pole of his Cup career, becoming the youngest driver to win a top qualifying spot in NASCAR's top series -- by one day.
Technically, Logano won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award since he's under the legal drinking age. Drivers who are 21 and older win the Coors Light Pole Award.
Logano edged Kurt Busch (123.857 mph) for the top starting spot. Dave Blaney (123.849 mph) qualified third, followed by four-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (123.818 mph) and Jeff Gordon (123.698 mph).
Logano won his first pole at 19 years, nine months, 23 days -- one day quicker than Kyle Busch, who qualified first at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) on Feb. 26, 2005. To his surprise, Logano accomplished the feat at a track that has given him fits in both his Cup starts.
"It's definitely really cool to get your first pole, but I never thought it would come here," said Logano, who finished 38th and 34th at Bristol last year. "I've always been fast here, and I've always had good race cars. I've been coming here since '06 in a Pro Cup car.
"I've always been fast, but I've always been caught up in a wreck or knocked the fender in and blew a tire or stubbed the nose and blew a motor. ... I walked into this race track [Friday], and I said, 'I want an uneventful race.'"
Busch said new crew chief Steve Addington, who guided his brother Kyle to two victories at Bristol last season, made some last-minute changes that produced a surprising qualifying effort.
"We have our setups, and Steve Addington has his setups, and we're realizing that there's two ways to skin this cat," Busch said. "So we're trying to balance the best ideas from what we're used to in the past at Penske Racing and what Steve Addington's used to.
"We're surprised by the lap that we ran. Second overall -- it was Steve throwing a couple of things at the car last-minute that he was comfortable with, and they worked out."
Cup points lead Kevin Harvick will start 33rd while Bobby Labonte will start 43rd on a past champion's provisional, the first he has used this year. Casey Mears (34th) and Terry Cook (40th) each made the starting field for the first time this season leaving Mike Bliss and Max Papis on the outside looking in as they failed to qualify for the 43-car field.