Brad Keselowski waited patiently while the rest of the 38-car field battled for their starting position for Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Late in the session, Kevin Harvick bumped William Byron from the top spot. It appeared that Harvick had sewed up the Busch Pole award. However, Keselowski had other thoughts as he beat Harvick’s lap time by seven hundredths of a second.
Keselowski said it was his team’s excellent preparations rather than track conditions that led to the pole.
“I think the track was in really good shape,” Keselowski explained. “I don’t know if there was anything that really favored up, mostly it was just the team doing a great job with the preparation and executing a flawless lap driving the car. Most of the credit goes to my team for sure.”
Keselowski’s official pole run was 37.801 sec. / 190.471 mph. This marks Keselowski’s second pole of 2019, and the 16th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
Keselowski has 20-career starts at Michigan — his hometown track — but has yet to score a victory. His best shot may come on Sunday, as he is starting from the ideal position.
“Nag is the right word, it definitely nags on me [that I haven’t won at Michigan],” said Keselowski. “The advantage of being the pole sitter is really dependent on how the yellows fall and the pit strategies fall. It can be a huge advantage if the race has a lot of yellows but if the race doesn’t have many yellows it can be maybe a slight disadvantage with pit stalls and things of that nature. It plays out to how the strategy unfolds as much as anything else.”
Although Harvick didn’t ultimately win the pole, he is optimistic about his chances on Sunday.
“It was a good day for our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang,” Harvick said. “Track position is really important everywhere we go. Coming to Michigan it is of the utmost importance so this is a really good start to the weekend for us.”
Byron held on for third, Alex Bowman will start fourth and Clint Bowyer qualified fifth.
Post-Qualifying Stat Pack:
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