Loudon, NH (Sports Network) - Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad
Keselowski claimed the pole for the Camping World RV Sales 301 after edging
Jimmie Johnson in Friday's qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski set a new track qualifying record at this 1.058-mile oval with a
lap at 135.922 mph. He earned his third career Sprint Cup pole. His first pole
in the series came here in September 2010. Keselowski's most recent pole
victory occurred in May 2011 at Charlotte (78 races ago).
Johnson, who is the current points leader and winner of last Saturday's race
at Daytona, held the provisional pole with a lap at 135.902 mph until
Keselowski turned a lap that was only 0.004 seconds faster. Johnson's No. 48
Hendrick Motorsports team had trouble clearing their car during pre-qualifying
inspection due to a couple of minor issues.
The top-10 finishers in qualifying broke the previous track record of 135.232
mph, set by Ryan Newman in July 2011.
Kurt Busch qualified third, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch rounded
out the top-five.
Jeff Gordon took the sixth spot, followed by Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey
Kahne, who is the defending race winner, and Jeff Burton. Hamlin won the most
recent race at New Hampshire last September.
Danica Patrick will start 33rd after posting a lap at 132.905 mph.
The Sports Network