Keslowski wins 600 Pole, Stenhouse Jr. to Start Ninth

CHARLOTTE – If qualifying for the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC told us anything tonight, it is that the darker it gets Sunday evening, the faster we can expect speeds. Brad Keslowski rolled off 30th of the 48 cars that attempted to make the field for Sunday and ended up setting his Miller Lite Dodge on the pole with a speed of 192.089 MPH.

“This car was awesome man. Awesome! Fast cars go fast and this is a team is making a lot of progress. We made some awesome gains in the Blue Deuce. Every week, we just keep picking away a little here, a little bit there. We’re starting to get more people to believe in us.” Keslowski said.

[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”247″][/media-credit]Keslowski was able to edge out A J Allmendinger for the pole. Allmendinger went out 26th in the qualifying order and will start on the outside of row one.  Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton were fastest in this afternoon’s practice session, but both came up short in qualifying this evening. Edwards will start third and Burton fifth. Denny Hamlin will start fourth.

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Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, driving the Wood Brother’s #21 in place of Trevor Baine. Stenhouse was the last of 48 drivers to qualify and ended up qualifying ninth. The remainder of the top ten – Jimmy Johnson, David Reutimann, David Ragan, and Clint Bowyer.

Kyle Busch, who was the pole sitter for last week’s All-Star race, will start 19th . Other notable drivers outside the top ten were Jeff Gordon 11th, Kasey Kahne 17th, Tony Stewart 22nd, Dale Earnhardt, Jr 25th and Kevin Harvick 28th. Defending race winner Kurt Busch will start 26th.

Starting Lineup
Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
May 28, 2011 – Race 12 of 36
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Pos. Driver
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1 Brad Keselowski
2 A.J. Allmendinger
3 Carl Edwards
4 Denny Hamlin
5 Jeff Burton
6 Jimmie Johnson
7 David Reutimann
8 David Ragan
9 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10 Clint Bowyer
11 Jeff Gordon
12 Ryan Newman
13 Mark Martin
14 Martin Truex Jr.
15 Greg Biffle
16 Paul Menard
17 Kasey Kahne
18 Brian Vickers
19 Matt Kenseth
20 Regan Smith
21 Kyle Busch
22 Tony Stewart
23 Joey Logano
24 Marcos Ambrose
25 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
26 Kurt Busch
27 Bobby Labonte
28 Kevin Harvick
29 Juan Montoya
30 David Gilliland
31 Travis Kvapil
32 David Starr
33 Michael McDowell
34 J.J. Yeley
35 Jamie McMurray
36 Joe Nemechek
37 Casey Mears
38 David Stremme
39 Mike Bliss
40 Landon Cassill+
41 Robby Gordon+
42 Dave Blaney+
43 Mike Skinner

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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