Austin Dillon, with a qualifying lap speed of 188.482 MPH, captured the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Auto Club 400 pole award on Friday, and will lead the field in the start of Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway (ACS).
A new series qualifying track record at ACS was established during the second round of qualifying, when Denny Hamlin ran a lap speed of 188.511 MPH, breaking Kyle Busch’s previous record of 188.245 MPH – which he set on Feb. 27, 2005.
This was Dillon’s first series pole and third top-10 start of the season, his second series career pole in 90 races and his first series pole in three races at ACS.
Last week’s series event winner, Kevin Harvick, qualified on the outside pole with a lap speed of 188.329 MPH, and he’ll be followed by Denny Hamlin (187.637 MPH) starting third, Ryan Newman (187.276) fourth and Carl Edwards (187.222) starts fifth.
The defending series champion, Kyle Busch (187.212 MPH) will start from sixth, while Trevor Bayne (186.916) starts seventh, series Rookie of the Year (ROTY) candidate, Chase Elliott (186.795) eighth, Joey Logano (186.557) ninth and Jamie McMurray (186.345) qualified in 10th.
For the fourth consecutive series weekend, only 39-drivers attempted to fill the 40-car field; therefore, no on failed to make the starting lineup.
On Saturday, the teams return for two more practice sessions beginning with a morning session from 11:00 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. (ET) on FOX Sports 2, and then their “Happy Hour” (final) session from 2:30 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. (ET) on FOX Sports 1.
The 20th annual Auto Club 400 is scheduled to get started around 3:50 p.m. (ET) Sunday afternoon on FOX.
|Auto Club 400 Qualifying Results|
|Pos.||Car #||Driver||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Gap|
|8||24||Chase Elliott #||38.215||38.195||38.545||-0.025|
|14||21||Ryan Blaney #||38.561||38.404||Eliminated||-0.003|
|16||34||Chris Bueshcher #||38.575||38.471||Eliminated||-0.016|
|17||78||Martin Truex Jr.||38.314||38.497||Eliminated||-0.026|
|18||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||38.417||38.600||Eliminated||-0.103|
|21||44||Brian Scott #||38.616||38.673||Eliminated||-0.019|
|27||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||38.693||Eliminated||-0.003|
|39||32||Jeffrey Earnhardt #||39.908||Eliminated||-0.043|
# – Rookie