Joey Logano wins Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway

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DARLINGTON, S.C. — Joey Logano, second-seeded in the race for the NASCAR Cup championship, opened the first playoff weekend in style Saturday at Darlington Raceway by winning the pole for Sunday’s Southern 500.

Logano turned a lap at 168.521 mph, edging Christopher Bell (168.469) for Sunday’s first starting position. Logano also took the pole for Darlington’s spring race, which he won.

“It’s nice to get that,” Logano said. “But it’s just a start. Five hundred miles to go.”

Rounding out the top five were William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Busch.

MORE: Darlington Cup qualifying results

MORE: Darlington Cup starting lineup

Chase Elliott, top speed starting the playoffs, will start 23rd Sunday.

Trackhouse Racing driver Daniel Suarez missed qualifying after his car failed inspection three times. He will start the race at the rear of the field.

MORE: Joey Logano’s unique nickname for his wife

Austin Cindric had the top speed — 167.699 mph — in practice. He was followed by Byron, Erik Jones, Reddick and Martin Truex Jr.

The race, scheduled at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, will be televised by USA Network.

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Joey Logano wins Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway originally appeared on NBCSports.com