For the second straight week in a row, Jeff Gordon was the quickest man in town as he scored his second straight Coors Light Pole Award. Gordon went around Michigan International Speedway in 34.857 seconds at an average speed of 206.558 mph to set a new track record, topping Kevin Harvick’s pole speed from the spring. It marks Gordon’s 76th career pole award and his sixth at Michigan.
“They just did a phenomenal job on this car,” Gordon said. “We had some tire chatter but they made adjustments and got it better. That second round – it was just awesome; I just didn’t drive it quick enough. It’s an exciting time right now having cars that are just this fast. We have obviously made some improvements.”
Joey Logano would qualify second for his seventh front row start of the 2014 season thus far.
“It’s just so frustrating. I mean, we could be complaining about something else though,” Logano commented. “Another front row starting spot is good for this team – but we haven’t got as many poles as we would’ve hoped.”
Carl Edwards, who set the quickest time in the first round, will start third followed by Brian Vickers and Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick, who has three straight runner-up finishes at Michigan, will start sixth, followed by Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman. Kyle Larson missed making it to the third round of qualifying by four thousandths of a second and will start 13th.
“For me, being rookie, it’s easier for me to get up to speed in practice; it helps the whole weekend,” Larson commented. “I think our car was better in race trim. I thought we were going to be further off than we were. It sucks missing the final round – I’ve been on the bubble a bunch of times and just missed it.”
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Eanhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson didn’t have the session they wanted, qualifying 25th and 30th respectively.
“We got a little loose on that second run,” Earnhardt said. “We ran a good lap on that first run and expected that we’d pick up some tenths in the second run but the back end was moving around a little too much. We were happy with the car in race trim, and we’re disappointed, but we can win from there.”
“We just had a vibration – a violent shake – through the corner and we’ve been trying to get to bottom of it,” Johnson commented. “We made it better, but obviously not good enough.”