Keselowski (No. 2 Wurth Ford) posted a lap of 196.929 miles per hour in the third and final round of knockout qualifying for his third pole of the season and 11th of his career. It also was his first pole at Texas Motor Speedway, topping his previous best of second on two occasions (fall of 2013 and spring of '14), in 15 races at the venue.
Keselowski led Eliminator 8 Round Chase contenders in the top four qualifying positions for Sunday's AAA Texas 500. Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet) was second at 195.993 mph, Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Crispy Toyota) third at 195.716 mph, and Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford) fourth at 195.419 mph. Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Plaid Chevrolet) rounded at the top five at 195.341 mph.
In regard to the other four Chase contenders, Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) was seventh at 194.988 mph, Carl Edwards (No. 19 Sports Clips Toyota) was 13th at 195.341, Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) was 18th at 194.637 mph and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet) was 23rd at 194.000 mph.
The Sprint Cup Series drivers return to the track Saturday for a pair of final practices, one from 10-10:55 a.m. CT and the other from 1-1:50 p.m.
Sunday's AAA Texas 500, the middle race of the three-race Eliminator 8 segment of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will be broadcast live beginning at 1 p.m. on television partner NBC and radio partners PRN and Sirius XM and KRLD-AM 1080 (local).