Joey Logano Makes A Statement By Scoring Pocono Pole

After weeks of speculation about his future with Joe Gibbs Racing, particularly in light of the Carl Edwards’ contract negotiations, Joey Logano made a statement about his place in this weekend’s race festivities.

[media-credit name=”Gary Buchanan” align=”alignright” width=”207″][/media-credit]The driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet scored the coveted pole position at Pocono Raceway, with a time of 52.309 seconds and a speed of 172.055 mph.

This was Logano’s third pole in 96 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2011. This was his first pole at Pocono and he also took the honors of becoming the youngest pole winner ever at Pocono at the age of 21 years, two months and 13 days.


American Muscle

“It’s a really big deal,” Logano said of his pole run. “We’ve been doing a good job and building momentum. Confidence in the team is up, especially in me.”

Logano acknowledged hearing the rumors about Carl Edwards potentially taking his place at Joe Gibbs Racing. In spite of that, he refused to give in, focusing instead on getting all he could out of the ‘Tricky Triangle.’

“As far as I knew, they were just rumors,” Logano said of Edwards assuming his ride. “I focused in 100% and tried to make myself the best race car driver I can and it’s been paying off.”

“It’s in the back of your mind. When you’re watching TV, how do you not think about it,” Logano continued. “But if your owners are behind you, what do you have to worry about really?”

“I’ve learned a lot through the downs we had this season,” Logano said. “I have become a leader.”

Starting on the outside pole for the 38th Annual Good Sam RV Insurance 500 is Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota. With a lap of 52.433 seconds at a speed of 171.648 seconds, this was Kahne’s 12th top-10 start in 2011 and his 10th in 16 races at Pocono Raceway.

“It’s definitely good to start up front,” Kahne said. “I felt really good.”

“Our lap was good but Joey’s was just better.”

Kahne acknowledged that although he was pleased with the outside pole, there were many more challenges yet to come throughout the lengthy Pocono race.

“So many things will happen throughout the race and it will be like that here,” Kahne said. “We have to stay on top of it and make good decisions so maybe we will be there at the end.”

Martin Truex, Jr., behind the wheel of the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, scored the third spot on the starting grid.  At one of the tracks that he considers ‘home’, Truex, Jr. ran a lap of 52.480 seconds and a speed of 171.494.

“It’s been a while since I’ve qualified up front,” Truex Jr. said. “We had an interesting day yesterday and everyone knows how tricky Pocono is.”

“We struggled but worked on the car and got it the way we wanted it,” Truex continued. “We went into qualifying with an entirely different package.”

“It wasn’t a perfect lap but it’s nice to start up front at Pocono.”

Carl Edwards, driving the No. 99 bug-on-the-side Ortho Home Defense Max Ford, and Kurt Busch in the yellow No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, rounded out the top five.

 

Starting Lineup
Good Sam RV Insurance 500, Pocono Raceway
http://www.speedwaymedia.com/Cup/qual.php?race=21
===========================================
Pos. No. Driver Make Speed Time
===========================================
1 20 Joey Logano Toyota 172.055 52.309
2 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 171.648 52.433
3 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 171.494 52.48
4 99 Carl Edwards Ford 171.474 52.486
5 22 Kurt Busch Dodge 171.468 52.488
6 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 171.448 52.494
7 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 171.37 52.518
8 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 171.367 52.519
9 16 Greg Biffle Ford 171.171 52.579
10 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 171.122 52.594
11 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 171.08 52.607
12 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 170.788 52.697
13 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 170.652 52.739
14 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 170.619 52.749
15 6 David Ragan Ford 170.619 52.749
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 170.59 52.758
17 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 170.558 52.768
18 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 170.538 52.774
19 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 170.506 52.784
20 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 170.438 52.805
21 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 170.309 52.845
22 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 170.28 52.854
23 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 170.161 52.891
24 34 David Gilliland Ford 170.068 52.92
25 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 170.042 52.928
26 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 169.991 52.944
27 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 169.875 52.98
28 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 169.734 53.024
29 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 169.629 53.057
30 66 Todd Bodine Toyota 169.393 53.131
31 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 169.358 53.142
32 13 Casey Mears Toyota 169.339 53.148
33 0 David Reutimann Toyota 169.335 53.149
34 55 J.J. Yeley Ford 168.909 53.283
35 46 Erik Darnell Ford 168.631 53.371
36 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 168.508 53.41
37 30 David Stremme Chevrolet 167.892 53.606
38 7 Robby Gordon Dodge 167.795 53.637
39 38 Travis Kvapil Ford 167.604 53.698
40 37 Scott Speed Ford 167.42 53.757
41 32 Jason White+ Ford 167.165 53.839
42 71 Andy Lally+* Ford 166.867 53.935
43 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 167.268 53.806

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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