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Keselowski Takes First Cup Pole, Sets NHMS Record

- Justin St. Louis on 17 Sep 2010

Brad Keselowski climbs from his pole-winning car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Russell LaBounty/Autostock photo)PHOTO: Brad Keselowski climbs from his pole-winning car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Russell LaBounty/Autostock photo)

Sylvania 300 weekend coverage presented by New England Dirt Track Championships and Subway of VT/NH

LOUDON, N.H. -- Brad Keselowski wasn’t invited to the postseason party, so he started his own. At the front of the field, no less.

The driver from Rochester Hills, Mich., earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole position on Friday in qualifying for the Sylvania 300, setting a new track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the process. Keselowski’s No. 12 Penske/AAA Dodge toured the 1.058-mile track in 28.515 seconds at 133.572 mph, eclipsing Juan Pablo Montoya’s record lap of 28.545 seconds, set in June 2009.

Keselowski ranks 26th in point standings in first full season, with no top-ten finishes, and was left far out of the ten-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, which begins Sunday at New Hampshire. He was a winner at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009 while driving a partial schedule.

“That run today was pretty awesome,” said Keselowski, who has 44 career Cup starts. “We’ve worked all year, this whole team, but haven’t gotten the results until today. This is certainly one of the sparks that we need to get this team energized and run up front.”

Clint Bowyer qualified second in the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet and was also under the track record at 28.538 seconds (133.464 mph). Bowyer was one of only four Chase drivers inside the top 11; Tony Stewart qualified third, Kyle Busch ninth, and Carl Edwards tenth.

Point leader Denny Hamlin qualified 22nd, and four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson -- who won at New Hampshire in June -- will start 25th.

Vermont-based Latitude 43 Motorsports failed to qualify. Driver Jeff Green turned a lap of 29.655 seconds (128.437 mph), slowest of 45 cars entered in the Sylvania 300.

Starting Lineup: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300


Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

2011 Schedule TBA

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