html

ThatsRacin.com


Joey Logano wins Michigan pole with track record

Kurt Busch said qualifying lap was perfect.

- dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

Kurt Busch said he thought Joey Logano had a perfect lap in qualifying Friday for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Not quite, but close.

“I had a really good (turn in corners) three and four, but I didn’t have the best one and two,” said Logano, who had a track record of 203.949 mph in winning the pole ahead of Busch’s 203.695. “So I was disappointed a little with that.”

It was a fast day at the track in Michigan’s Irish Hills. Logano’s lap was the ninth fastest pole-winning lap in NASCAR history. Three other drivers have broken the 203 mph barrier, including Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Jeff Burton. Logano, Busch and Johnson’s times were all faster than the previous record set by Marcos Ambrose (203.241) in June 2012.

“The pace today was just quick, it was an extreme pace,” Busch said. “We were running 203 mph and it didn’t feel like it. Joey hit it perfect”

Michigan, which was repaved prior to the2012 season, is one of the faster tracks on the NASCAR circuit. Logano, who won his first pole of the season, said speeds could exceed 200 mph in Sunday’s race.

Notes

• Qualifying is set for 9:35 a.m. Saturday for the Michigan National Guard 200 truck race, which begins at 12:30 p.m. Matt Crafton leads Jeb Burton by 52 points in the standings. Ryan Blaney won the series’ last race on Aug. 3 at Pocono.

• Ross Kenseth will make his first Automobile Racing Club of America series start Aug. 25 at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway. Kenseth, the son of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, will drive a heavy stock car for the first time in competition when he attempts to qualify for the race. The Madison track is about 100 miles from Kenseth’s home of Little Chute, Wis.

• ESPN has renewed the contract of Cornelius-resident Shannon Spake, who will continue to host NASCAR Now and also serve as a sideline reporter for college football and basketball games.

• The new road course at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City will get its first real taste of speed this weekend when the Grand-Am series visits the 2.37-mile circuit.

The course was designed during a resurface of the facility last summer. It uses a portion of the main track used twice a year by the Sprint Cup, with a hard left-hand turn in the first corner sending the sports cars winding through the infield.

There’s a lot riding on Saturday night’s race. The merger between the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series announced earlier this year means the track could be left off the schedule next season. Full stands and strong support could be enough to ensure a return date in 2014. Associated Press



Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
More racing news, blogs, photos and more at www.ThatsRacin.com.