Keselowski takes pole at New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski flashes a thumbs up prior to a NASCAR Cup Series auto race practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

LOUDON, N.H. — (AP) Brad Keselowski topped qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday for his first NASCAR Cup pole since 2017.

Keselowski turned a fast lap of 136.384 mph in his Ford to edge Kyle Busch, who briefly held the top speed Friday before Keselowski bumped him from the top.

“We’re happy with that effort. It certainly bodes well for our shot to get those stage wins and of course the overall race win come Sunday. But we still have to go earn it,” Keselowski said. “So you’re happy for it. You take a breath and you celebrate it and you get your head back down and go to work.”

Busch was second at 136.311 mph, just ahead of older brother, Kurt.

Kurt Busch is coming off his first victory of the season after edging Kyle last weekend at Kentucky Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, who has won three races this season, won at New Hampshire in 2014.

“This is a really hard track to have a strategy for because every year we come here something gets changed,” Keselowski said. “They change the bodies on the car. They change the rules on the ride height. I don’t feel like I’ve been here for more than two straight years where the cars have been anything alike.”

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