Logano Leads ‘Em To Green At Sonoma

Joey Logano

Team Penske’s Joey Logano claimed his third pole position of the season Saturday afternoon at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway – turning a fast lap of 97.771 mph in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, bettering the previous record by more than a second on the newly-paved 1.99-mile road course in Northern California.

The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion will start Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) alongside 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick, who was a slight .083-second behind Logano.

“I got a little loose up in turn two and probably left a little bit out there, but it’s hard to hit a perfect lap every corner,” said Logano, a 31-time pole-winner who also won pole position at Sonoma in 2011.

“If you can average it all out to be pretty good, it works out. It was great to see the Autotrader Mustang having some speed here in Sonoma. It didn’t seem too bad in race trim either, so hopefully we turn this into a victory tomorrow.”

Logano’s only career road course win came in 2015 at Watkins Glen, N.Y. His best finish at Sonoma is third, something he has done twice including last year.

Logano’s Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney, the reigning series champion, will roll off third – both drivers looking for their first trophy of the season. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson round out the top-five.

All four Hendrick cars advanced to the final round of qualifying, including three-race winner William Byron in sixth and Alex Bowman in eighth. Trackhouse Racing teammates Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain will start seventh and ninth with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs rounding out the top-10 who advanced to the final round.

NASCAR Cup Series championship leader, JGR’s Denny Hamlin will roll off 25th and his teammate, four-time and defending Sonoma race winner Martin Truex Jr. is 21st on the starting grid.

Two of the Australian Supercar Series drivers are making their debut this weekend. Will Brown, who was second fastest in practice, will roll off 24th in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Cam Waters will start 31st in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford.

“This race is gonna be a lot different than what it was in the past here,” Logano said. “You think about what it used to be here with a lot of tire wear. Now the tires seem to last fairly long so that can adjust the strategy quite a bit from what it used to be here. There are a lot of different options for the crew chiefs to try to make up their mind on how to play out the race and time will tell.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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