Aric Almirola Wins NASCAR Cup Series Atlanta Pole Position

New Ford Mustang Sweeps Top 3 Qualifying Spots

Scott Stiller
February 22, 2019 - 10:16 pm
Stewart Haas Racing's Aric Almirola During Qualifying For The Folds Of Honor Quik Trip 500 At Atlanta Motor Speedway

Mike Dinovo-USA Today Sports

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Hampton, GA (93.7 The Fan) -- Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola put the new Ford Mustang on the Pole Position for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

"We had a really good car right off the truck," said Almirola, who's first career pole came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2012.  "We were second in practice and just kind of carried that speed through qualifying."

Almirola’s lap of 181.473 mph around the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway was 0.177-seconds quicker than Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who starts on the outside of the front row.

Almirola’s teammate Clint Bowyer gave Ford’s Mustang a top 3 sweep, qualifying third with a lap of 30.730—seconds, good for 180.410 mph.

"Everybody at Stewart Haas Racing is building incredible race cars," said Almirola.  "It doesn't matter what rules they throw at us, at the end of the day it's about people.  You give 400-employees a challenge with a new race in the Ford Mustang, a new rules package from NASCAR and they just go to work."

Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin spoiled the Ford party at the front of the field qualifying fifth with a speed of 180.328 mph.

Bowyer and Almirola’s teammate Daniel Suarez rounded at the top 5, lapping AMS at a speed of 180.216.

Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch just missed the top 5, qualifying sixth with a speed of 179.942 mph.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson and Kurt Busch start side-by-side on Row 4.  Larson’s lap of 179.842 mph was a mere 0.008-seconds quicker than Busch’s.

Hamlin and Kyle Busch’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. starts ninth and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon rounds out the top 10.

The Cup Series has a final practice Saturday from Noon to 1:20 p.m.

The green flag drops Sunday at 2 p.m.

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