Brad Keselowski won the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 with a final-round speed of 195.503 mph Friday. But Keselowski won’t get first pick of his pit stall — a perk that comes from winning the pole. Teams pick their pit stalls based on where they qualify.
Keselowski and Tony Stewart both received their fourth written warnings for pre-race inspection infractions last week at Charlotte, costing them their picks. Stewart, who qualified 17th, will pick 43rd and last. Keselowski will pick 42nd.
Keselowski downplayed the importance of being able to pick a pit stall as the pole winner.
“It’s like getting a nice cheese cake with no toppings,” he said. “I still like cheesecake, but we’ll make the most of it. I won’t know the effect of it until the race is over.”
Keselowski qualified fastest during the final round with a speed of 195.503 mph. Carl Edwards will start on the front row with Keselowski, but Edwards will get first choice of pits stalls.
“That’s a gift,” said Edwards. “We’ll take it.”
For the record, Keselowski’s favorite cheesecake topping is strawberry.
▪ NASCAR’s Xfinity Series wraps up a stretch of racing for 16 consecutive weeks Saturday with the Kansas Lottery 300.
“We knew this summer stretch would be a tough part of the season,” said Chris Buescher, the points leader. “But we made it through pretty well.”
Buescher carries a 26-point lead over Chase Elliott into Saturday’s race (qualifying is at 12:45 p.m., green flag is 4 p.m.). And although Buescher hasn’t won since June’s Dover race, he has maintained his points lead throughout the 16-race stretch, which began at Daytona in July.
“We’ve been in contention to win a couple races since then, and it’s a little frustrating that we haven’t been able to wrap more up,” said Buescher.
What’s also been frustrating for Buescher have been the 15 races won not by drivers eligible for this season’s Xfinity championship, but by Cup drivers. It’s an issue that has long existed: Cup drivers dropping down to race intermittently on the Xfinity series.
“It’s been a rough season on the (Xfinity) regulars,” said Buescher. “We haven’t been able to get a whole lot of wins between all of us. It’s been a tough part of this season, trying to run with Cup guys.”
The Xfinity takes two weeks off before returning Nov. 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.
▪ Truck series driver Johnny Sauter will leave Thor Sport Racing for GMS Racing next season. Sauter has 10 career victories (nine with Thor Sport) and is fourth in this season’s Truck standings. The trucks race again Oct. 24 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.