William Byron has done it again.
For the second straight week, and third time this season, Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will lead the field to the green flag. Byron posted a lap of 173.494 mph (51.875 seconds) in single-car qualifying to take the pole for Sunday’s race. Pocono will also be the sixth time that Byron has started from the front row.
“It’s all about execution,” Byron told Fox Sports 1 of transferring qualifying into race success. “It’s on me to know what I need throughout the race and I feel like I’m starting to learn a little bit of what it takes at the last 100 laps instead of the first 80, which we’ve been pretty good.
“But this is great. It’s an impound race, so it’s good to see our speed is there, and just really excited. The guys have worked really hard on this 24 car, everybody at Hendrick Motorsports the engine shop, the chassis shop, it means a lot. Excited for it …. pole day has been good for us and keep racking them up and hopefully rack up a better result on race day, too.”
Joining Byron on the front row will be the most recent winner at Pocono, Kyle Busch. The No. 18 qualified second with a lap of 172.629 mph.
Completing the top five were Clint Bowyer (172.520 mph), Erik Jones (172.410 mph), and Brad Keselowski (172.374 mph).
Denny Hamlin will start sixth after a lap of 171.939 mph while Kyle Larson qualified seventh at 171.890 mph. Jimmie Johnson qualified eighth at 171.857 mph with Daniel Suarez ninth at 171.690 mph. Suarez was fastest in Friday’s opening practice session. Completing the top 10 was Austin Dillon at 171.661 mph.
Defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. will start 20th after posting a lap of 170.445 mph.
Kurt Busch, who was fastest in final practice, qualified 21st at 170.184 mph.
The car chiefs for Chris Buescher and Erik Jones have been ejected for the rest of the weekend after both cars failed pre-qualifying inspection twice.
UP NEXT: The Pocono 400 at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.