First Cup Series pole for rookie Hemric at Kansas Speedway

Image by Harrelson/LAT

First Cup Series pole for rookie Hemric at Kansas Speedway

NASCAR

First Cup Series pole for rookie Hemric at Kansas Speedway

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Daniel Hemric will lead the field to the green flag for the first time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career at Kansas Speedway.

Hemric scored the pole Saturday afternoon with a lap of 178.047 mph (30.329 seconds). While it was the first pole of his rookie season, it is the fourth pole of the season for Richard Childress Racing.

Joining Hemric on the front row will be David Ragan, second fastest at 177.842 mph.

A front-row start for Front Row Motorsports’ Ragan who qualified second. Image by Jarrett/LAT

Completing the top five in qualifying were Ryan Blaney (P) at 177.754 mph, Brad Keselowski (P) at 177.667 mph, and Kyle Larson (P) also at 177.637 mph.

Michael McDowell qualified sixth at 177.585 mph with Ryan Newman seventh at 177.497 mph. Qualifying eighth was Daniel Suarez at 177.363 mph; Austin Dillon was ninth at 177.352 mph, and rounding out the top 10 was Darrell Wallace Jr., 177.328 mph.

Nine playoff drivers will start outside the top 10: Martin Truex Jr. was 11th quick at 177.258 mph; defending race winner Chase Elliott was 14th fastest at 177.067 mph; Alex Bowman will start 16th with a lap of 176.933 mph; and Kyle Busch was the last of the playoff drivers inside the top 20, qualifying 18th at 176.771 mph.

Truex’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed pre-qualifying inspection twice Saturday morning, though, and crew chief Blake Harris was ejected for the rest of the weekend.

Of the rest, Clint Bowyer will come from the 21st position after a lap of 176.442 mph; Denny Hamlin qualified 23rd at 176.292 mph; William Byron will start 25th at 175.655 mph; and Joey Logano was 29th fastest at 174.689 mph.

Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing Ford failed inspection three times, and he did not get to make a qualifying attempt; he will start last. He also lost his car chief, Robert Smith, for the remainder of the weekend and will lose 30 minutes of practice time next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

STARTING LINEUP

UP NEXT: Hollywood Casino 400 at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

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