Joey Logano
Joey Logano. Photo by Bob Tarvin
JOEY LOGANO/No.20 The Home Depot Toyota has the pole for Sunday’s Toyota/SavMart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway. His fast lap was 93.256 mph/76.82 seconds. This is Logano’s second Cup pole in 91 starts, and this is his third race in Sonoma. The current NASCAR configuration dates back to 1999, is 1.99 miles long with ten turns. The circuit is considered an elevated road course.

Logano, at 21, is the youngest driver in the field. He said “I was surprised it was as fast as it was. This is the last place I figured we’d get a pole. I’ve never been up front before. I think right now I need to figure out where I’m going to start — on the inside or the outside and kind of think about it.”

The qualifying track record was set by RUSTY WALLACE in 2000 – 99.309 mph.

The was 79-81 degrees F and breezy.

Second fastest was JAMIE McMURRAY/No.1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, followed by PAUL MENARD/No.27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet, DENNY HAMLIN/No.11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and RYAN NEWMAN/No.39 Haas Automation Chevrolet.

Joey Logano and fellow K&N driver, Michael Self
Joey Logano and fellow K&N driver, Michael Self. Photo by Lynne Huntting

It must be Logano’s weekend. He’s on the outside front row for the K&N Pro Series Thunder Valley Casino Resort 200 race Saturday afternoon, next to pole sitter BRANDON DAVIS/No.10 Applied Computer Solutions Ford. That race will start all 41 drivers. He reckons having the Cup pole “will for sure be an advantage” in the K&N race.

Local driver (and road course specialist), A.J. ALLMENDINGER/No.43 Best Buy Ford will start seventh, behind KASEY KAHNE/No.4 Red Bull Toyota. Eighth is MARCOS AMBROSE/No.9 Stanley Ford, with CLINT BOWYER/No.33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet and BRIAN VICKERS.No.83 Red Bull Toyota.

Allmendinger said “That was a lot better than I usually qualify here. I’ll take it.” AJ’s Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Ambrose, said “We were struggling in practice a little bit, but we got a gain there so I feel better about it. We will get it right by Sunday.”

Fastest (and only) Rookie was ANDY LALLY/No.71 Interstate Moving Services Ford, starting forty-first.

Tony Ave's car
Tony Ave's car. Photo by Lynne Huntting
TONY AVE/No.38 Long John Silver’s Ford goes home. He qualified last and had to make the field on time.

The field is comprised of Chevrolets, twelve Toyotas, eleven of 12 Fords entered, and four Dodges.

In the morning practice, ANDY PILGRIM/No.46 Red Line Oil Chevrolet was one of the two notably consistent ten-lap drivers. From Lap four to thirteen, Pilgrim ran an average 86.099 mph. He is the oldest driver in the field at 54. He has nowhere to go but up as he’s gridded last. But as the only laps he’s ever turned in any Cup car have been this weekend, don’t count him out. The other consistent driver in the morning practice was BRAD KESELOWSKI/No.2 Miller Lite Dodge, at 89.611 mph.

BRIAN SIMO/No.81ARMA Energy Ford has been racing NASCAR at Infineon Raceway since 2000. He is one of four drivers in their fifties. The other two are MARK MARTIN/No.5 Farmer’s Insurance/ Chevrolet and MIKE SKINNER/No.60 Big Red Toyota.

The Cup drivers have one more practice Saturday morning – sometimes known as Happy Hour. The Sunday 110-lap race starts at noon local time, 3 pm ET, airing live on TNT TV and PRN radio.

Last Modified on June 24, 2011
This entry was posted in NASCAR
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