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Driver Brad Keselowski gets out of his car Friday after winning the pole position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
Friday, July 12, 2013
LOUDON, N.H. - Brad Keselowski is back on top of NASCAR.
Well, for a race, at least.
But he's quickly running out of time to make it back to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and defend his series championship.
His first pole of the season might be the boost he needs to become a contender. Keselowski turned a lap of 135.922 mph on Friday to set a track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski won only his third career pole and first since 2011. With eight races left until the 12-driver Chase field is set, Keselowski is winless and sitting in 13th place in the points standings.
"There is a sense of urgency but not a sense of panic," Keselowski said. "I think there is a strong difference between the two. We are eager to get going, we are hungry and feel like we can do it but I don't feel a sense of panic. There are still two months of racing essentially to get into the Chase."
Keselowski led a fast day at the track as nine drivers topped the previous track record held by Ryan Newman, who went 135.232 in 2011.
Ten drivers topped that lap until points leader Jimmie Johnson's second-fastest qualifying time was scrapped after his car failed inspection. His No. 48 Chevrolet, which had two issues in the pre-qualifying inspection, failed after his attempt because both sides of the front were too low. He'll start in the rear in 43rd.
"We were able to get the car right," crew chief Chad Knaus said, "just not exactly right."
- Associated Press
Austin Petty expects son
Austin Petty and his wife, Sarah, are expecting a child. It's going to be a boy.
And they'll name him Adam.
Sarah announced the news on Twitter, complete with a sonogram photo. Austin, the son of Kyle and Pattie, announced that they would name the baby after brother Adam Petty, who died 13 years ago in a racing accident.
The news spread quickly from High Point, where the couple lives. Austin, the chief operating officer of Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, said he knew Adam was looking down because it was raining. He said it always rains on Petty family events, a sign that Adam is present.
- Ed Hardin
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