Logano Wins Pole Position amid Controversy; 13 Cars Are Left out of Qualifying after Failing to Pass Inspection; Motor Sports

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 28, 2015 | Go to article overview

Logano Wins Pole Position amid Controversy; 13 Cars Are Left out of Qualifying after Failing to Pass Inspection; Motor Sports


HAMPTON, Ga. * Joey Logano is on quite a roll, following up his victory in the Daytona 500 by taking the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

NASCAR is on the defensive after 13 drivers including four former champions didn't even get on the track for qualifying Friday after failing to pass inspection.

Four-time Cup winner Jeff Gordon, who is retiring at the end of the season, called the situation "absolutely embarrassing."

Logano led the final session of qualifying with a blistering speed of 194.683 mph, taking advantage of temperatures in the 40s as the sun set on the 1.54-mile trioval. He has never been a strong qualifier in Atlanta, but he's on quite a roll after his victory last weekend in the biggest race of the year.

"I don't know what's going on," a beaming Logano said. "Everything is going well for me lately. I'm trying to keep the train rolling."

Daytona runner-up Kevin Harvick (193.792) will start on the outside of the front row, knowing he's got his work cut out to keep up with the pole sitter.

"They're running good," Harvick said. "They're on top of the heap right now."

But most of the attention was on those who didn't get a chance to qualify. Gordon and former champs Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth were stuck in the paddock, even after NASCAR pushed back the start of qualifying by 15 minutes in hope of clearing everyone.

"I don't know what to say about today," Stewart tweeted. "Spent all of our practice working on qualifying. Didn't even get a chance to make a lap. Frustrating!"

He added, "If we would have known this was going to happen, we could have worked on the race setup. Was a total waste of a day at the track."

Gordon said it was the first time he's ever missed out on qualifying because of an inspection issue. …

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