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CUP: Logano Scores First Pole

Joey Logano turned in what his closest competitor, Kurt Busch, called a near-perfect lap Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway and won the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500.

LINK >QUALIFYING RESULTS: Food City 500 - BRISTOL

PDF >PRACTICE ONE: Food City 500 - BRISTOL

Logano’s lap of 124.630 mph edged Busch (123.857) by .096 of a second.

It was Logano’s first Sprint Cup pole in 44 races.

“That was a big deal for us, to get our first pole,” Logano said. “I never thought it would come here.”

Following Logano, widely considered to be one of NASCAR’s next stars, and Busch were Dave Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said he wasn’t surprised by the pole run by Logano, who led Friday’s practice.

“We qualified eighth here last fall then got wrecked six laps into the race, so we really didn’t have a chance,” he said. “We felt like we had a top-10 car. With the progress Joey has made, this year has allowed us to make some changes.”

The focal points of the weekend – Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski – qualified far apart. Edwards will be racing on probation for the next three events after punting Keselowski’s car two weeks ago at Atlanta. Edwards will start eighth Sunday, and Keselowski, who almost lost control of his car on his first qualifying lap Friday, will start 36th.

“I was trying real hard to put up a good lap and didn’t quite pull it off,” Keselowski said.

Sprint Cup point leader Kevin Harvick qualified 33rd.

Toyotas took four of the top 10 starting spots for the first short-track race of the season.

Mike Bliss and Max Papis failed to qualify.

LINK >QUALIFYING RESULTS: Food City 500 - BRISTOL

PDF >PRACTICE ONE: Food City 500 - BRISTOL

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEEDtv.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.