Logano wins qualifying on Pocono's new track surface

Joey Logano claimed the pole for the Pocono 400 with a new track record in Saturday's qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

Logano turned a lap at 179.598 mph around Pocono's new track surface for his fourth career Sprint Cup Series pole, including his second one at this unique 2.5-mile triangular oval. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also won qualifying here last August.

"It's cool to get a pole and to get a new track record here; that's really neat," Logano said. "I felt like I left a little bit out there. I'm excited to start this thing, and hopefully, I bring home a big (win)."

With Pocono's new coat of asphalt, the top-36 drivers in qualifying broke an eight-year-old track record. Kasey Kahne held the mark when he recorded a lap at 172.533 mph in June 2004.

Sprint Cup teams have practiced at Pocono the past three days in preparation for Sunday's 400-mile race here. NASCAR gave teams an opportunity to get familiar with track's surface on Wednesday and Thursday.

Carl Edwards claimed the outside pole with a lap 178.866 mph.

"I drove down in the corner, and it was just a little slicker than I thought it was gonna be, and I got out of the groove a little bit on exit," Edwards said. "I just ran out of guts and had to lift a little off of (turn) one, and then I totally messed up the tunnel, but I've got a great race car."

Paul Menard qualified third, followed by Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, who is a four-time race winner at Pocono.

Mark Martin, who posted the quickest lap overall in practice, placed sixth, while Regan Smith, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marco Ambrose and Kahne completed the top-10.

Jeff Gordon will start 12th. Gordon won at Pocono for the fifth time one year ago, which placed him in a tie with Bill Elliott for most victories at this track.

Greg Biffle, the current points leader, qualified 13th, which is one position better than his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth, who trails Biffle by only one point.

Qualifying at Pocono was delayed for more than 30 minutes after the first three drivers made their attempts. Scott Riggs, the third driver out on the track, got loose in turn one and nearly wrecked his car. The surface area in turn one had residue from a cleaning solution used after an accident in Friday's ARCA final practice session.

"I tried to put a lot of faith in what everybody was doing out there on the track to get some grip and get it cleaned up, but it was a lot slicker than we had it since we've been here," Riggs said. "Once they (NASCAR officials) said, 'Okay, we're going to try it one more time, and you got to go,' the only thing to do is just go as far as the tires let you go."

David Stremme was the only driver who failed to qualify for this race, which is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. (ET).