Chase Elliott will defend his 2018 win at Watkins Glen from the pole.
A lap of 127.297 mph (69.287 seconds) got the job done for the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro driver during two-round, group qualifying Saturday evening. Last year, Elliott’s win at Watkins Glen was his first in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The pole is the third of the season for Elliott and the seventh of his career. It is also his first at Watkins Glen.
Elliott will be joined on the front row by his Hendrick teammate William Byron who clocked in at 127.144 mph.
The rest of the top five were Kyle Busch (126.976 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (126.861 mph), and Kyle Larson (126.779 mph).
Filling out the top 10 were Denny Hamlin (126.726 mph), Kurt Busch (126.300 mph), Jimmie Johnson (126.124 mph), Aric Almirola (125.928 mph), and Brad Keselowski (125.926 mph).
Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also advanced to the final round. They were 11th and 12th fastest, respectively.
Those who were eliminated after the first round of qualifying included Clint Bowyer in 13th, Erik Jones 14th, and Kevin Harvick 15th.
Jones halted the first round of qualifying when he came to a stop in Turn 1. His Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had blown a tire and was towed back to the garage to avoid tearing it up. Since Jones had not completed a lap, NASCAR let the team put a new tire on the No. 20 Camry and get back on track.
Further back was Alex Bowman in 17th and Ryan Blaney 19th. Drivers who qualified outside the top 20 were Joey Logano in 21st, Ryan Newman in 25th, and Austin Dillon in 28th.
All qualifying results are unofficial as post qualifying inspection will take place Sunday morning.
UP NEXT: Go Bowling at The Glen at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.