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Brad Keselowski claims Nationwide pole at New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014.
Brad Keselowski at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014.
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

When the NASCAR Nationwide Series takes the green flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Saturday afternoon for the Sta-Green 200, Sprint Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski will lead the field, as he claimed the pole with a 29.230-second/130.304 mph qualifying lap in the second of two rounds of qualifying Saturday morning.

Keselowski will be joined on the front row by fellow Sprint Cupper Kyle Busch on the front row. Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson will start third and fourth in row two. The highest-qualifying Nationwide Series championship-eligible driver was Brian Scott, who qualified fifth.

Only one of the four Nationwide Series regulars racing for the extra $100,000 bonus through the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash program -- Regan Smith, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Reed and Ryan Sieg -- was in the top-12 in the first round of qualifying to advance to the second round and make laps in attempts to gain top-12 spots on the starting grid. Smith barely squeaked into the top-12 by posting the 12th-fastest lap in round one. He remained 12th in round two, and therefore, that's where he'll start Saturday afternoon.

Reed just barely missed the top-12, qualifying 13th. Sieg will start the race 20th and Clements will start in the 30th spot.
Other drivers starting in the top-12 include Chase Elliott in sixth, Paul Menard in seventh, Trevor Bayne eighth, Chris Buescher ninth, Dylan Kwasniewski 10th and Brendan Gaughan in 12th.

Keselowski also posted the fastest lap in the first round of qualifying with a lap time of 29.284 seconds (130.064). But instead of Busch being second-fastest to Keselowski in round one, the second-fastest driver was Elliott. In that round, Busch was third.

Forty drivers made qualifying attempts in the first round on Saturday morning, so all who attempted to qualify garnered starting spots for Saturday afternoon's race. A 41st driver, Carl Long, was on the entry list, but Long failed to make a qualifying lap.