NASCAR »

Logano surprise polewinner at Infineon

Joey Logano will start NASCAR Sprint Cup's first road race of the year on pole position, and was as surprised as anyone to be on the top spot at Infineon Raceway in Sears Point, Sonoma.
Joey Logano isn't someone traditionally considered to be a strong performer on road courses, but he put the #20 on pole position at Infineon Raceway ahead of more fancied road specialists like Juan Montoya and Marcos Ambrose, and even ahead of the 'road ringers' like Boris Said, brought in specially by teams for the occasion.

"I never looked at myself as a road course racer," admitted the 21-year-old who handled the left- and right-turns at Sears Point with the gusto of a veteran. "This is the last place that I figured we'd get a pole.

"I was surprised. I felt like my lap was OK. I didn't feel like it was stellar, by no means," he said afterwards. "I didn't really think it was going to hold up, and I don't think any of my guys thought it was going to hold up. But we're really pumped up right now!"

Logano's achievement is all the more impressive given that the series' drivers most experienced with road courses - Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya - will start from eighth and 17th, while the road course specialists specially imported by teams for the event struggled, with Boris Said starting in 30th and Tony Ave failing to qualify in the #38 Ford subbing for Travis Kvapil.

It's only Logano's second Cup pole position in his series career, his best previous start here being 12th in his début in 2009. It makes him the youngest driver on a NASCAR road course pole, eclipsing the previous record holder Parnelli Jones who was 24 when he claimed pole at Riverside all the way back in 1958.

Logano put an end to the recent run of three consecutive pole positions for Penske's Kurt Busch, who could only manage 11th place in the unfamiliar road course surroundings after being fastest in the earlier practice session.

"We were fastest in practice but just couldn't put down the qualifying lap that we needed," said Busch. "We missed it in turns 4 and 7 and were just slow in 10. When you add all that up, you just can't give away that much time on this track."

His team mate Brad Keselowski will start from 15th.

Logano will instead be joined on the front row of the grid by Earnhardt Ganassi's Jamie McMurray, while Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard claimed his best-ever road qualifying position to start third alongside Logano's Joe Gibbs Racing team mate Denny Hamlin, who will be hoping for back-to-back victories after winning last week at Michigan.

Mark Martin had two qualifying runs during the session, as the first was affected by a piece of metal debris on the track. His first time would have seen him in 25th place, but the second was 0.4s faster and put him in 16th place for the start of the race.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Joey Logano celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award for the 23rd Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 with a lap of 76.821 seconds, 93.256 mph. [Picture Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.