His lap of 188.99mph (28.573s) was enough for his 18th career pole position and his first in over three years.
“We want to win, but you got to start somewhere,” said Keselowski after celebrating with his crew. “Had a good test last week at Homestead — learned a bunch. We really needed that and now we’re able to apply it here in Texas with our RFK No. 6 Ford. We’ll see, 500 miles on Sunday is a little bit different from qualifying, but a great start for us for sure.
Speaking of the work he has put in to help RFK become competitive again: “Yeah, it’s a lot of pain but now we’re starting to feel the gains from it. It’s just like working out. It sucks. It really does. But then, when you get out of the gym and you feel better a week or two later, you start to see the results and that’s what we’re getting as a team.”
Looking ahead to the race, he said drivers will have to “versatile” in what will be a long, hot and difficult day. “I think there’s been a lot of eyes on the Xfinity race here in just a little bit to see what we can learn but you know, Texas is a really tough track and as hot as it is this weekend, it’s going to make it that much tougher.”
Round 1 / Group A
Ty Gibbs was the first driver in qualifying to reach the 28-second bracket, but it wasn’t enough to advance. He was eventually bumped by Logano.
Reddick, who led all Group A drivers in practice, repeated that performance in qualifying. His 28.593s lap topped the round. Larson, Logano, Keselowski, and Hamlin also advanced.
RFK Racing remained impressive a week after their Bristol victory, with Keselowski advancing and Chris Buescher being the first driver on the outside. He missed out by just 0.040s.
Round 1 / Group B
Landon Cassill had a loose moment on his warm-up lap, but managed to evade disaster.
It was Dillon who then put the No. 3 Chevrolet at the top of the charts with a 28.716s lap, but that time was nearly two tenths off his teammate from the first group. He held the position until William Byron eclipsed it with a 28.588s lap.
Dillon ended up second, followed by Elliott, Suarez, and McDowell.
Elliott was the last driver out, and bumped Austin Cindric with his time. The Penske driver missed advancing by 0.030s.