Austin Dillon has scored the provisional pole at Chicagoland Speedway, his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet turning the fastest lap in single-car qualifying on Saturday evening.
The 12th driver to take time, Dillon posted a lap of 176.263 mph (30.636 seconds). If the pole holds through inspection, which takes place Sunday morning ahead of the Camping World 400, it will be Dillon’s third pole of the season and sixth of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
“Well, I felt like if we kept working on it … We had a good meeting [with] the No. 8 (Daniel Hemric) in the hauler between first and second practice, and kind of had a good idea of what we wanted to make changes on,” said Dillon. “We were able to make them, and the car was fast. So, I’m really proud of these guys.
“This is our third pole this year. We just need to translate it to the race.
“We’ve had some really bad weeks,” Dillon continued. “Four bad weeks of getting wrecked and random stuff happening. We need a good run, and this is a great way to start it. I know no polesitter has won this race; that’s bad. But, hopefully, we can change that this weekend.”
Kevin Harvick qualified second at 176.091 mph and Dillon’s RCR teammate Daniel Hemric was third at 175.959 mph. Jimmie Johnson at 175.678 mph and Kurt Busch at 175.558 mph completed the top five.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were Clint Bowyer (175.421 mph), Michael McDowell (175.393 mph), Alex Bowman (175.188 mph), Denny Hamlin (175.114 mph), and Ryan Blaney (175.092 mph).
William Byron qualified 11th at 174.933 mph; however, he will start at the rear of the field: The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team made an engine change in Byron’s Chevrolet because of an oil leak discovered just before qualifying.
Last year’s Chicagoland winner, Kyle Busch, qualified 17th. Busch ran a lap of 174.379 mph.
Further back on the qualifying sheet was two-time Chicago winner Martin Truex Jr. in 18th, Joey Logano 19th, Erik Jones 21st, and Daniel Suarez 29th.
UP NEXT: The Camping World 400 at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.