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Logano wins Michigan pole with new track qualifying record

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Updated: 8/16/2013 5:49 pm

Brooklyn, MI (Sports Network) - Joey Logano will start on the pole for the 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway after setting a new track record in Friday's qualifying.

Logano, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 22 Ford for Penske Racing, posted a lap at 203.949 mph for his first pole of the season and the sixth of his Sprint Cup career. Logano's run was the ninth-fastest pole- winning lap in the history of NASCAR's premier series.

With four races to go before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, Logano sits 16th in the point standings and seventh in the wild card rankings. He has yet to win a race this season.

"This car is really fast and really good in race trim," Logano said. "I'm looking forward to the race. Obviously here at Michigan, this is a big race for Penske Racing and Ford. So far, we're on track. We just want to win this thing."

Kurt Busch will share the front row with Logano after turning a lap at 203.695 mph. Jimmie Johnson's lap at 203.470 mph earned him the third starting spot.

The top-three drivers in qualifying surpassed the previous track record of 203.241 mph, set by Marcos Ambrose in June 2012. This is the 13th time a qualifying record at a track has been broken this season with the new Sprint Cup race car, the Gen-6.

Mark Martin qualified fourth, followed by Jeff Burton and Juan Pablo Montoya. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, the defending series champion, and Kyle Busch, who won last Sunday's race at Watkins Glen, completed the top-10.

Earlier in the day, Montoya confirmed that he is not returning to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the 2014 season.

"Well to be honest with you, I think I knew from quite a while ago, Montoya said. "They had an option earlier in the year, and they didn't take it, so I kind of knew it was going to be something different next year, and that's it. They confirmed it this week and that was it."

Austin Dillon, who is the replacement driver for the injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet this week, qualified 27th, one spot ahead of his Stewart- Haas Racing teammate, Danica Patrick.

Greg Biffle will start 16th in his attempt to win a third consecutive race at Michigan.

Scott Riggs was the only driver who failed to qualify for Sunday's event at Michigan, which is scheduled to start shortly after 1 p.m. ET.

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