Blaney powers through wind for Vegas pole

Blaney powers through wind for Vegas pole

Cup Series

Blaney powers through wind for Vegas pole


Ryan Blaney put his Menards/Pennzoil machine on the pole for the Pennzoil 400 with the fastest lap in the final round of qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Blaney ran a lap of 191.489 mph in the third round to snatch the top spot from Kevin Harvick, who had run a 190.248 mph. The No.12 had been third and second quickest in the previous two rounds.

The pole is Blaney’s first of the season, first at Las Vegas and the third of his career. He is also the third different pole winner in three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this season.

“I think [the track] just got faster, to be honest with you,” Blaney said of his run. “The sun went down and it just gained grip, they did a great job of adjusting me round to round. That’s so important and I think our team does such a good job of getting us better each round, and we definitely did that. So, really cool to have a lot of speed in our Menards/Pennzoil Ford Fusion and good to start up front at this place.

“The wind was crazy, it kept blowing you around into [Turn] 3. But really proud of everybody at the Penske team and really cool to get the first pole of the season. Hopefully, our car will be good in race trim tomorrow and come Sunday.”

Kurt Busch gave Ford a 1-2-3 sweep by clocking in third fastest at 190.067. Martin Truex Jr. (189.980 mph) and Kyle Larson (189.447 mph) completed the top five. Truex is the defending race winner.

The rest of the starting top 10 are Chase Elliott (189.175 mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (189.148 mph), Brad Keselowski (189.102 mph), Erik Jones (188.719 mph), and Joey Logano (188.640 mph).

Other notables throughout the starting lineup: Kyle Busch starts 13th; Jimmie Johnson 14th; Michael McDowell 15th; William Byron 17th; Denny Hamlin 19th; Alex Bowman 20th; Darrell Wallace Jr. 26th; Aric Almirola 29th and Cole Custer will start 30th in his Cup Series debut.

The full starting lineup can be found here.

NEXT UP: Second practice at 12 p.m. ET Saturday.