Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 Qualifying (Round 36 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Joey Logano of Joe Gibbs Racing (30.672 seconds at 176.056 mph)
SHR Lineup: Ryan Newman (19th, 31.216 seconds at 172.988 mph) - Tony Stewart (35th, 31.490 seconds at 171.483 mph)
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent in time trials Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway by qualifying 19th for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Newman turned a lap of 31.216 seconds at 172.988 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.
"Knowing that only the strongest wear the colors of the U.S. Army, we want to accomplish the mission and deliver a win for all the Soldiers in our final race for the U.S. Army," said Newman, who has three top-10 finishes in 10 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. "We were a little loose that lap, but I think we’ve got a decent car for the race. We’ve got two more practices tomorrow to make it better."
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, will start 35th after clocking in at 31.490 seconds at 171.483 mph.
"That was awful," said Stewart, who has three wins at Homestead (1999, 2000 and 2011). "Just got loose down there in (turns) three and four and it killed the lap. Good news is that the Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy is a lot better in race trim. We’ll just have our work cut out for us on Sunday."
Joey Logano captured his fifth career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his first at Homestead by posting a lap of 30.672 seconds at 176.056 mph.
Marcos Ambrose will start on the outside of row one after turning a lap of 30.797 seconds at 175.342 mph. Championship point leader Brad Keselowski was third (30.841 seconds at 175.092 mph), while Carl Edwards (30.857 seconds at 175.001 mph) and Aric Almirola (30.877 seconds at 174.887 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-seven drivers attempted to qualify for the Ford EcoBoost 400. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Reed Sorenson, Stephen Leicht, Jason Leffler and Joe Nemechek.
Toyota took the top spot among manufacturers via Logano’s pole run. Ford was next best at the hands of Ambrose. Dodge was the third-fastest make thanks to Keselowski, while 10th-quick Jimmie Johnson carried the flag for Chevrolet (31.020 seconds at 174.081 mph).
Keselowski leads Johnson by 20 points in the championship standings. A 15th-place finish or better by Keselowski in Sunday’s season finale will clinch his first Sprint Cup championship, regardless of how Johnson fares.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 gets underway at 3 p.m. EST Sunday, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1:30 p.m.