AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Keselowski won the pole position Friday for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway under a new qualifying format implemented by NASCAR.
Instead of having one car at a time go around the track in qualifying, NASCAR started using a knockout format to set the starting spots for the 43-car field.
At tracks less than 1.25 miles long, such as the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval, qualifying was broken into two sessions.
The entire field turned qualifying laps in the initial 30-minute session. Then, after a 10-minute break, the 12 fastest cars from that session advanced to a second, 10-minute session.
In the second session, Keselowski turned a lap at 139.384 mph in his No. 2 Ford to win the pole. He was followed by his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano at 139.265 mph.
Jamie McMurray qualified third, Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the season-opening Daytona 500 last Sunday, qualified fifth.
Among the drivers who failed to reach the second round were Kevin Harvick (13th), Tony Stewart (20th), Austin Dillon (24th) and Danica Patrick (33rd).