NASCAR at Michigan 2014 Results: Race Order, Final Times and Twitter Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 15:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Robert Reiners/Getty Images

Jeff Gordon wasn't just fast on Friday as he won the pole for this Sunday's Pure Michigan 400; he was historically fast. His qualifying lap of 206.558 miles per hour is the seventh-fastest in Sprint Cup history, per NASCAR Stats:

Track records have been falling left and right all season. According to, this is the 17th time in 2014 alone that a driver has broken a track's previous best for fastest lap. Gordon is the second driver to break a track record at the Michigan International Speedway, per USA Today's Nate Ryan:

Gordon was a man of few words after qualifying.

"That thing stuck so well," he said about his car, per Ryan. "That makes it fun."

Gordon now has 76 poles to his credit throughout his illustrious career, including two in 2014.

Heading into Sunday, he sits fourth in the points standings. His two wins all but assure him a place in the final Chase for the Sprint Cup. With a trip to Victory Lane, Gordon would almost certainly vault to first in the standings, so he won't be taking it easy simply because he's qualified for the Chase.

In 43 trips to Michigan, Gordon has won twice and finished in the top five on 18 occasions. If he doesn't end up in Victory Lane, he'll very likely hover near the leader.

Below are the top-10 qualifiers from Friday. You can view the full lineup on

Pure Michigan 400 Qualifying Results
Pos.DriverBest SpeedBest TimeBehind
1Jeff Gordon206.55834.857---
2Joey Logano206.38134.887-0.030
3Carl Edwards206.11534.932-0.075
4Brian Vickers205.68535.005-0.148
5Brad Keselowski205.64435.012-0.155
6Kevin Harvick205.43835.047-0.190
7Paul Menard204.58035.194-0.337
8Austin Dillon204.46435.214-0.357
9Jamie McMurray204.35435.233-0.376
10Ricky Stenhouse Jr.204.17435.264-0.407

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who does sit atop the points standings, struggled early in the day, eventually qualifying in 25th. He narrowly missed out on making it through to the second round:

Despite the disappointing performance, Junior did find solace in that his car should be much better prepared for Sunday:

Pit crews set up the cars differently between qualifying and the race itself. Producing the fastest lap possible doesn't demand the same kind of tweaks that running consistently over a sustained period of time demands on race day.

Don't be surprised if Earnhardt creeps his way up the leaderboard during the Pure Michigan 400 and challenges for the lead.

While Junior is sitting pretty in the standings, both Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer are precariously perched in 15th and 16th, respectively. Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle are lurking right below the Chase cutoff, threatening to knock the aforementioned duo out of a Chase place.

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 15:  Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, qualifies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Neither looked great in qualifying with Larson finishing 13th and Bowyer taking 19th. As a result, earning that coveted first victory of the year may be out of the question for both drivers. In the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan in June, they did finish in the top 10, though, with Larson in eighth and Bowyer in 10th.

The former has only run on the track once on the Sprint Cup Series, while the latter has run 17 times on the Michigan International Speedway, finishing as high as fifth in 2013.

Another driver looking for his first win in 2014 is Matt Kenseth. He's been one of the most consistent Sprint Cup drivers this year but remains without a win. Like the other Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, the No. 20 car couldn't get into an early groove:

Kenseth has raced 30 times at Michigan, winning twice. The bad news is that his last victory came in 2006, and in three races under the JGR banner, he's finished no higher than sixth.

That first checkered flag may have to wait another week.

The green flag drops on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Coverage begins at noon on ESPN.


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