Race Weekend Central

Ryan Blaney Captures 5th Career Pole in Texas; Ford Dominates Final Round

Ryan Blaney will start from the pole in Sunday’s (Nov. 4) AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Blaney turned a 26.932-second lap around the 1.5-mile track to earn his third pole of 2018, a career-high for the driver of the No. 12. Blaney now holds the second-fastest pole speed (200.505 mph) on 1.5-mile tracks all-time. Kurt Busch earned the fastest last November with a 200.915 mph lap around Texas.

As they did in practice, Ford straight up dominated the final round holding positions one through five. Eight of the 12 positions in the final round are held by Ford. Clint Bowyer will start the race from second while Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five speeds.

Denny Hamlin is the first driver in something other than a Ford in his No. 11 Toyota, he’ll start sixth. Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, and Erik Jones round out the top-12 starting spots for Sunday’s race.

Martin Truex Jr. (13th) and Chase Elliott (16th) failed to move into the final round of qualifying. Truex missed it by .001-seconds off of fellow playoff driver Almirola. Both drivers were kind of off in practice and will now have to focus on making gains in the race and in tomorrows practice sessions.

An accident highlighted the final few seconds of the first round. David Ragan went around on the frontstretch going through the infield grass. The hood was popped up, as expected from the air going under the car but as for the rest of the damage, it’s unknown on if they will pull out a backup car.

With Timmy Hill and the No. 66 team withdrawing from Sunday’s race, all 40 cars who turned at least one lap during the session will qualify for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 including David Starr,  who will make Obaika Racing’s first ever Cup Series start.

Qualifying Results for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have two practices scheduled on Saturday (Nov. 3rd) with the first being slated for 12:30 p.m. ET on CNBC. Final practice will start on the NBC Sports App at 3 p.m. ET and then transfer to NBCSN at 3:30 p.m. ET.

About the author

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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