CLICK: Full Nationwide qualifying times from Homestead-Miami Speedway

Penske's Brad Keselowski will led the field to the green flag for the final NASCAR Nationwide Series race this evening, after topping qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 300 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It's his fifth series pole of the season and 19th in 216 series starts.

As well as being the final race of the season, this will also be the last event of NASCAR's second-tier championship to have title sponsorship from Nationwide Insurance. Next year the series will have a new name and branding from Comcast's cable and broadband division XFINITY.

Keselowski therefore becomes the last Nationwide Series pole winner after saving his best lap of the three-round qualifying session at the 1.5-mile oval to last. He clocked in at 32.455s (166.384mph) during the final top 12 pole shoot-out stage, despite having been outpaced in both the previous rounds by his young team mate Ryan Blaney who had earlier recorded the best lap of the day (32.383s, 166.754mph) while topping the second round.

Blaney was unable to match his earlier form in the final round, and second place on the grid alongside Keselowski instead went to Turner Scott Motorsports' Kyle Larson, who the day before had successfully clinched pole position for Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race.

Keselowski himself was a late addition to the entry list, after agreeing to take over at the wheel of the #22 Ford in order to allow his Cup team mate Joey Logano to concentrate on his bid to win the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Keselowski himself was ruled out of the running after last weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway.

While the Nationwide Series title has already been decided in favour of JR Motorsports' Chase Elliott - who has become the youngest-ever winner of a national NASCAR title in the process - there is still the matter of the owners championship to be decided in today's season finale. Currently the #22 leads the Joe Gibbs Racing #54 by 29 points in the owners standings, meaning that barring disaster Keselowski should be leading the Penske celebrations on pit road after the chequered flag.

The #54 car - driven this weekend by Kyle Busch - will be starting from sixth place for today's race, putting Busch alongside Blaney who qualified just ahead in fifth place. Busch's JGR team mates Matt Kenseth and Elliott Sadler (who will move to Roush Fenway Racing in 2015) line-up on the row immediately ahead after qualifying in third and fourth place respectively.

Also making it through to the final round of qualifying were Richard Childress Racing pair Brian Scott and Brendan Gaughan, followed by Dylan Kwasniewski (Turner Scott Motorsports), Roush Fenway Racing team mates Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed, and Josh Berry (JR Motorsports).

Narrowly missing out on transferring from the second round was Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing) in 13th and newly crowned series champion Chase Elliott, who will start in 14th place just ahead of his team mate Regan Smith, who is defending a 13 point lead over Scott for the runners-up position in the 2014 championship.

With 45 cars entered for Saturday's race, five failed to make the cut and will be packing up earlier. Ryan Ellis, Kevin Lepage, Derrike Cope, John Jackson and Martin Roy all failed to make it onto the 40-car starting grid.

The race gets underway at 4.45pm local time, or 9.45pm GMT. In the US the race will air on ESPN2, while in the UK it will be shown live on MotorsTV.

Full Nationwide qualifying times from Homestead-Miami Speedway.



Loading Comments...