Joey Logano sets Michigan track record in pole run

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For the 13th time this season, a NASCAR qualifying track record has gone down – this time, at the hands of Joey Logano, whose lap today at 203.949 miles per hour in the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford was enough to claim pole for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano was one of three drivers to eclipse the previous MIS qualifying record of 203.241 miles per hour, set in June of 2012 by Marcos Ambrose (203.241 mph).

His lap was also the ninth-quickest pole lap in Sprint Cup Series history, but a mere 44 one-thousandths of a second ahead of Kurt Busch, who turned in a lap at 203.695 miles per hour in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet to claim his sixth front-row start of the year.

Behind them in Row 2 will be championship leader Jimmie Johnson (203.470) and Mark Martin, while Jeff Burton (203.114) and the soon-to-be free agent Juan Pablo Montoya (202.988) make up Row 3.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Michigan native Brad Keselowski, and last week’s winner, Kyle Busch, round out the Top 10 on Sunday’s grid. As for other notables, Greg Biffle – who won at MIS this past June – will roll off 16th, while Austin Dillon will start 27th as he fills in for the injured Tony Stewart. Danica Patrick will start 28th.

Scott Riggs was the only driver that failed to qualify this afternoon.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.