Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Logano Holds Breath Long Enough to Win Pole; Elliott Qualifies 27th to Earn a Spot in His First Sprint Cup Series Race

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Logano Holds Breath Long Enough to Win Pole; Elliott Qualifies 27th to Earn a Spot in His First Sprint Cup Series Race

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

MARTINSVILLE, VA. | Joey Logano pushed his Ford Fusion as hard as he could go during the final round of knockout qualifying Friday at the Martinsville Speedway before pulling onto pit road with what proved to be the pole-winning lap.

Logano's car handled the strain perfectly with a lap of 98.461 mph around the half-mile, paperclip-shaped short track.

Logano, however, couldn't take it.

"I told Todd [Gordon, crew chief] I couldn't hold my breath anymore," Logano said.

NASCAR's new qualifying format allowed drivers to run as many laps as they wanted in sessions of 20, 10 and five minutes. Logano ran six laps in the final five-minute session.

"There's nothing bad about starting first," he said after catching his breath. It allows you not to beat up your car in the first segment [of Sunday's STP 500] to get up front."

Qualifying was delayed 70 minutes after morning showers forced NASCAR to create an abbreviated schedule.

It also created a lot of stress for Chase Elliott. …

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