Joey Logano and his Penske Racing team are hotter than the sun right about now. No, they aren’t sweating. Well, maybe they are. But, the No. 22 Ford is stunningly fast once again this weekend.
After winning last weekend with the young Ryan Blaney, the team is trying to continue their hot streak at the Dover International Speedway. So far, all has gone according to plan. Logano has won the pole for the 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover. The pole marks the first of the season for Logano in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and his 23rd career pole in 123 starts.
Logano will start up front with his teammate, Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish is currently leading the points standings and has finished no worse than sixth in seven of the last eight NASCAR Nationwide Series races. The season is coming to a close and it looks like Hornish will win the championship over Austin Dillon, who will be driving a Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon is 15 points behind Hornish, but Hornish seems unstoppable over the past two months.
Alex Bowman was the highest qualifying rookie. Bowman will start fourth as he did earlier in the year. Mike Bliss had an unbelievable qualifying run in his No. 19 Toyota Camry. Bliss turned a lap that was good enough to put his underfunded TriStar Motorsports car in the sixth position. Brad Sweet also had a good qualifying run and he will start seventh.
Logano, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers and Joe Nemechek are the only drivers pulling double-duty this weekend.
Several NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars struggled during qualifying. Elliott Sadler was having a rather good lap, but tapped the wall, causing him to start 12th. Travis Pastrana had a horrific lap and will start 21st. Kyle Larson and Trevor Bayne continued to struggle during qualifying as they’ve done for the majority of the season. They’ll start 17th and 18th respectively.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.