Blaney Wins Pocono Pole

Harvick Starts On Outside Front Row

Scott Stiller
June 02, 2018 - 10:01 am
Ryan Blaney Wins Busch Pole Award At Pocono

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Team Penske's Ryan Blaney is on the pole position for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.  Blaney's lap of 50.877 seconds (176.897 mph) around the 2.5 mile triangle-shaped track edged Stewart Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick by .026-seconds in knockout-style qualifying.

"We made big gains from practice to qualifying and then every round of qualifying," Blaney said.  "I didn't think we had the speed to contend with Kevin (Harvick) the first two rounds.  He was a solid two-tenths, tenth-and-a-half quicker than us and we made really good changes on our race car for the last round." 

The pole is Blaney's second of the year and fourth of his career.  This is Blaney's 9th top 10 start of the season.  Blaney is also the defending race-winner, picking up his first Cup series win at the "Tricky Triangle" last June.

Harvick led the first two rounds of qualifying but his speed of 176.807 mph in the third round was just a tick slower than Blaney.  This will be Harvick's 12th top-10 start of the season.

"It was a good lap through (turns) 1 & 2," Harvick said.  "And just slid the back all the way into 3 and to the center.  I had to ride the brake and wasn't able to get off the brake and roll the center and get back to part throttle.  I think that's obviously where we gave up a little time."

Chip Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray qualified third in the No. 1 Gearwrench Camaro with a speed of 176.626 mph followed by defending series Champion Martin Truex Jr in the No. 78 Toyota.  Kyle Busch rounds out the top 5 in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Kurt Busch will roll off sixth followed by Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon.

The green flag for the Pocono 400 drops Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

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