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Keselowski on pole at the Monster Mile

Brad Keselowski won pole position for Sunday afternoon's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover's "Monster Mile".
Brad Keselowski won his fifth pole in 174 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races after posting a lap of 21.892s (164.444mph) at the one-mile Dover International Speedway in qualifying on Friday afternoon.

It's Keselowski's second pole and tenth top ten start this year, and his first-ever Cup pole in nine races at Dover International Speedway.

"They gave me a great car here with the Miller Lite Ford Fusion," Keselowski admitted. "I didn't feel like I got it all the first run. I like this group qualifying and I got another shot at it.

"I think we have been pretty decent and there are a lot of great cars in race trim. The #18 looked good and the #4 has been strong and we have a lot to go. There is a lot left in the weekend. We have practice tomorrow and we just have to keep working."

Kyle Busch had earlier topped the first elimination round of qualifying as well as the earlier practice session, but in the end he was unable to quite replicate the form in the second and final stage of qualifying, falling short of Keselowski by 0.088s.

"The #2 and #22 always seem to go faster on their second runs and we just got beat by speed there," said Busch. "Our car was really fast in practice and really liked it there but just wasn't able to quite get the speed we wanted there in qualifying. I don't think anybody really did. I think everybody kind of slowed down. Overall we slowed down a little more than most I guess. I don't know. But, just didn't quite get enough there that last run and come up short."

That puts Busch on the front row for Sunday afternoon's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks race, just ahead of Keselowski's Penske team mate Joey Logano who was third-fastest and who will now head the second row of the grid just ahead of last week's race winner Jimmie Johnson.

"All I heard was Kyle say he came up a little short and I guess I am the same thing, just a little shorter," said Logano. "We picked up a lot of speed from where we were in practice. Our Shell Pennzoil Ford wasn't very good and didn't have a bunch of speed but we made good adjustments to get faster there. We just over adjusted a little from the first run to the second run on trying to free it up and we just couldn't give it the gas as aggressive as I needed to."

"Good lap, [but] did have a moment off of 4," reported Johnson of his own effort. "Certainly dragged some speed out of the car with that. I think we could have been a little bit better. I'm not sure where it would have put us, but a strong day. We unloaded fast and we made it through each round and had a lot of speed in the car. I'm excited about the weekend."

Kyle Larson is the highest-placed rookie on the grid in fifth position, putting him alongside Johnson's Hendrick Motorsport team mate Jeff Gordon who was playing down the problems he experienced with back spasms last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent," said Gordon. "I'm back closer to normal, which is just always aggravation and some discomfort. I'm still feeling some of the affects of what went on last week, but I felt good in the car. I didn't have any sharp pains, so that's good.

"I just had a week of rest and normal activity. Lots of ice this week," he continued. "I was pretty sore on Monday and Tuesday after that long 600, but that's not totally unusual; but probably just a little bit more than normal because of all that I went through. So, I feel good for this weekend."

Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer, AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle all made it into the top 12 shootout, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman just missed out and will therefore start from row seven on Sunday.

The Cup drivers all get two more practice sessions on Saturday to dial in their cars for the race. Dover is also hosting Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races this weekend.

Full Sprint Cup qualifying results



Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, climbs out of his car after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski celebrates pole position at Dover International Speedway (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, who is in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 21st position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Newman is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, who is in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 5th position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, poses with the Keystone Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, talks to his crew chief, Paul Wolfe, after failing to advance to the championship round of the Chase for the Spring Cup after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/ Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon just missed out being in the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, speaks to the media after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

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