Chase Elliott scored his second pole of 2019 on Friday afternoon (May 3) with a new track record at 165.960 mph. Elliott will be joined on the front row by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron. Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five, making that four of the top five positions occupied by Chevrolet drivers.
Friday’s session was the first single-car qualifying session in the sport on a track one mile or less since 2013. NASCAR made the change to the format earlier in the week after a series of controversial qualifying sessions, including at Auto Club Speedway when no one managed to get around to take the green flag before time expired in the final round. Although it was only a 40-minute session, this is what many drivers were advocates for, and many loved the old-school feel of it.
“Our NAPA Brakes Chevy was good right there,” said Elliott to FOX Sports 1 after his pole run. “This place can be either a lot of fun in qualifying or a handful, and today was one of those fun ones.”
Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Clint Bowyer will male up the back half of the top 10 for Sunday’s (May 5) race. Kurt Busch, who was quickest in opening practice Friday morning, will start 19th.
35 of the 37 teams entered set times during the session. Both of the Premium Motorsports entries, driven by Ross Chastain and Reed Sorenson, failed to record times. They will start 36th and 37th, respectively.
Teams return to the track Saturday morning (May 4) for the second practice of the weekend at 9:05 a.m. ET. The session will air live on FOX Sports 1.