NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Ryan Blaney Snags 2nd Career Cup Pole in Phoenix

Ryan Blaney, who sat on the pole at Kansas Speedway in May, will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

With a 137.942 mph lap, Blaney edged Denny Hamlin by 0.001 seconds to score just his second career pole. Kyle Larson was the lone playoff driver to qualify in the top five in third. Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

“We got better each round, which is all you can ask for really,” Blaney said after his pole run. “I thought the last round was our best.  We ran our fastest time and it was enough.  That says something strong about this team.  I think we started second here in the spring and to back that up and better it at a big weekend like this, where we have to perform well, that’s definitely encouraging and it gets our weekend started off on a good foot.  Hopefully, we can keep this momentum up and keep it going and see what we have for them on Sunday.”

Kevin Harvick will start sixth, followed by teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Joey Logano and rookie Daniel Suarez round out the top 10.

Jimmie Johnson, who enters the weekend 51 points behind fourth-place driver in the standings Brad Keselowski, will start 12th, while the driver of the Blue Deuce was the worst of the eight playoff drivers; he’ll start 16th.

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