When it comes to superspeedway qualifying, Chase Elliott‘s two-for-two in his rookie season.
Elliott’s 49.704-second lap late in the second round of qualifying was good for the 21 Means 21 Pole Award at Talladega Superspeedway, his second pole on the season. Elliott also claimed first on the grid for the season-opening Daytona 500.
The Dawsonville, Georgia native knocked off teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who was looking for his first Talladega pole, and survived a lap just .061 seconds slower from Austin Dillon to take the top spot.
Dillon will start second, with Earnhardt, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top five.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Paul Menard finished out the top 10.
Qualifying proved to be a surprise for Stewart-Haas Racing. After showing speed during practice, the organization failed to place a single car in the final round. Ty Dillon led the way for SHR in 14th, with Kurt Busch (18th), Kevin Harvick (29th) and Danica Patrick (37th) rounding out the team’s underwhelming session.
Josh Wise (No. 30) was the lone driver to fail to qualify for Sunday’s race.
Elliott’s pole comes on the 29th anniversary of his father’s 212.809 mph. pole lap around the same Talladega oval. The circuit still stands today as the fastest lap in NASCAR history.
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.
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