Brad Keselowski sets track speed record en route to earning Sprint Cup pole at Dover

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Brad Keselowski must have gotten tired having started on the outside pole so many times this season.

Enough was enough on Friday for Keselowski, who after sitting on the outside pole six times in the first 12 races of 2014, earned his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season for Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.

Keselowski, who is seeking his second Sprint Cup victory of the season, recorded a DIS track record qualifying lap of 164.444 mph. It was Keselowski’s fifth career Sprint Cup pole and the third for Team Penske in 2014.

“We had a great car today, all day,” Keselowski said. “I just wanted to get going.”

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch won the outside pole with a best lap of 163.785 mph.

“The 2 (Keselowski) and 22 (Joey Logano) always seem to go faster on their second runs, and we just got beat on speed there,” Busch said. “The car’s been real fast all weekend, we’re happy with it in race trim and everything, so I think we’ll be good for the race on Sunday.”

Qualifying third through 12th in the third and final session were: Keselowski’s Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano (163.688), Coca-Cola 600 winner Jimmie Johnson (163.362), Kyle Larson (163.080), Denny Hamlin (163.066), Jeff Gordon (163.066), Kevin Harvick (162.499), Brian Vickers (162.411), Clint Bowyer (162.243), AJ Allmendinger (162.155) and Greg Biffle (160.995).

Team Penske – either Keselowski or Logano – has now sat on the front row in either the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in knockout qualifying 10 times in the first 13 races this season (there was no knockout qualifying in the season-opening Daytona 500).

Because only 43 cars made qualifying attempts, there were no cars that failed to qualify.

Here’s how they’ll line up for Sunday’s FedEx400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway:

Row 1 Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch

Row 2 Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson

Row 3 Kyle Larson, Jeff Gordon

Row 4 Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick

Row 5 Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer

Row 6 AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle

Row 7 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman

Row 8 Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr.

Row 9 Kasey Kahne, Brett Moffitt

Row 10 Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart

Row 11 Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears

Row 12 Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch

Row 13 Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Row 14 Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick

Row 15 Carl Edwards, Justin Allgaier

Row 16 Cole Whitt, David Gilliland

Row 17 Josh Wise, David Ragan

Row 18 Alex Bowman, Landon Cassill

Row 19 JJ Yeley, Reed Sorenson

Row 20 Michael Annett, David Stremme

Row 21 Ryan Truex, Dave Blaney

Row 22 Blake Koch

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Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.