Joey Logano wins pole for today’s Nationwide race at Texas

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Joey Logano’s final round lap of 186.981 miles per hour was enough to give him his third Nationwide Series pole of 2014 for today’s O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.

Logano will look to extend the 31-point lead for Team Penske’s No. 22 outfit in the series owner standings. But he’ll also be gunning for his first Nationwide triumph of the season as well.

“Obviously, the owner’s [title] is what’s on the line and we want to be able to be consistent,” he said to Fox Sports. “But I want to win this race really bad.”

Logano will be joined on the front row by Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne, whose lap of 186.419 mph was good enough for second on the grid.

Row 2 will feature reigning series champion and current Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon (186.136) in his first series start of the year, plus one of his Richard Childress Racing teammates, Brian Scott.

Penske young gun Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch make up Row 3, followed by Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon in Row 4, and Regan Smith and Ryan Reed in Row 5.

Current Nationwide points leader and Texas spring race winner Chase Elliott will roll off from the inside of Row 6 in 11th spot. Elliott leads JR Motorsports teammate Smith in the standings by 42 points.

Clint Bowyer was called upon to replace Elliott Sadler for this qualifying session in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing machine. Sadler was reported to be receiving fluids in the infield care center and his status for today’s race is unknown; Bowyer qualified the No. 11 in 17th position.

Another Cup rookie, Kyle Larson, and veteran Carlos Contreras did not turn laps in qualifying and will have to start from the back of the field. Larson couldn’t get through inspection due to issues with his car’s right-rear camber and left-rear toe according to Fox Sports, while Contreras didn’t get through after having an engine change.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES at Texas – O’Reilly Challenge
Starting Grid

1. 22-Joey Logano
2. 6-Trevor Bayne
3. 33-Austin Dillon
4. 2-Brian Scott
5. 12-Ryan Blaney
6. 54-Kyle Busch
7. 5-Kevin Harvick
8. 3-Ty Dillon
9. 7-Regan Smith
10. 16-Ryan Reed
11. 9-Chase Elliott
12. 62-Brendan Gaughan
13. 20-Matt Kenseth
14. 31-Dylan Kwasniewski
15. 60-Chris Buescher
16. 25-John Wes Townley
17. 11-Clint Bowyer
18. 39-Ryan Sieg
19. 84-Chad Boat
20. 98-Corey Lajoie
21. 19-Mike Bliss
22. 43-Dakoda Armstrong
23. 28-J.J. Yeley
24. 51-Jeremy Clements
25. 14-Eric McClure
26. 44-David Starr
27. 01-Landon Cassill
28. 99-James Buescher
29. 93-Kevin Swindell
30. 4-Jeffrey Earnhardt
31. 10-Blake Koch
32. 17-Tanner Berryhill
33. 90-Martin Roy
34. 55-Jamie Dick
35. 40-Matt DiBenedetto
36. 52-Joey Gase
37. 23-Robert Richardson
38. 42-Kyle Larson
39. 87-Carlos Contreras
40. 46-Ryan Ellis

DNQ: 70-Derrike Cope, 74-Mike Harmon, 89-Morgan Shepherd

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.