Keselowski Captures Pole for Sam's Town 300, Penske on Pole All Weekend

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2010

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 of the Discount Tire Dodge, looks on from pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway on February 20, 2010 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Penske Dodge, captured the pole for this afternoon's Sam's Town 300 Nationwide Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (if weather permits).

This comes one day after his Penske teammate, Kurt Busch, captured the pole for Sunday's Shelby American GT 350.

Another thing the two drivers in common? Setting new track records.

Keselowski broke the record previously held by Scott Speed, set at last year's qualifying. Keselowski's lap time was 29.122 with a speed of 185.427 while Speed's was 29.597 at 182.451 mph.

“That was awesome! I'm so proud of Paul [Wolfe, crew chief] and this entire Discount Tire Doge team and Penske Racing,” he said. “We just got out there, pulled the belts tight and ran it as hard as I could. I didn't breathe for about 60 seconds. Awesome lap. A brand new race team.”

This is Keselowski's first pole for Penske Racing. He has three previous poles with JR Motorpsorts in the No. 88 Chevrolet.

“This is an awesome feat,” Keselowski said.

In his three Nationwide starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he has finished 27th, 23rd, and 34th. However, he has finished third in points in the last two years and has vastly improved on the tracks. He hasn't finished worse since the 27th place at LVMS in 2009 at any track. He has also been working on his 1.5 mile track racing, so hopefully the pole will help him this weekend.

“I've worked hard to improve my driving at the mile-and-a-half tracks, so I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger this weekend," he said. "We want to continue our solid start to the season so that we are in a good position when we get to the non-companion races because there is no Chase in the Nationwide Series.”

Keselowski's first two starts in 2010 have garnered some attention. He was involved in a wreck with Kyle Busch in Daytona and spun out Joey Logano in a rush to the checkered flag last week at Auto Club Speedway.

Starting on the outside is Kevin Harvick in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. The remainder of the top 10 are Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brian Scott., Greg Biffle and Brian Vickers.

Keselowski's Penske teammate Justin Allgaier qualified his No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger 13th. Another notable qualifier was Danica Patrick, who qualified 37th.


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