William Byron led the way in the final round of NASCAR Cup Series group qualifying at Indianapolis to earn the pole for the series’ inaugural event on the road course.
Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet clocked in at 100.044 mph (1m27.765s) Sunday morning. He was the only driver to break the 100-mph mark.
The run that got it done.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 15, 2021
Earlier this week, Byron spent time in the Chevrolet simulator with NTT IndyCar Series driver Rinus VeeKay and picked up some tips and tricks.
“Honestly, that might have helped my lap because I feel like through Turns 13 and 14 as you get up on the oval and go back to the right, he had an interesting technique there with the brakes,” Byron said after winning the pole. “So, I was quizzing him on it and trying to figure out what I could learn from it. Obviously, they use a lot more brake, they’re able to turn a lot faster than we are, but it was really cool to see how up to speed he was and I thank him for doing that. It was really cool.”
Rookie and Indiana native Chase Briscoe was second fastest at 99.561 mph. Not only is it the highest Briscoe has qualified all season, but the first time he’ll start inside the top 10.
Chase Elliott qualified third (99.518 mph), Kyle Larson was fourth (99.433 mph), and Daniel Suarez qualified fifth (99.291 mph).
Martin Truex Jr. qualified sixth (99.211 mph), Joey Logano seventh (99.201 mph), AJ Allmendinger eighth (99.193 mph), Ross Chastain ninth (99.144) mph), and Cole Custer 10th (99.144 mph).
Austin Cindric qualified 13th in what is his final Cup Series start of the season. Cindric has been competitive in the previous Cup Series road course races but noted he has not finished a race, which is the main agenda Sunday afternoon.
“My goal today is to finish,” Cindric said. “At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do. I can sit here and tell you I want to go out and win the race, but we haven’t closed out a race in quite some time on the 33 car, so that’s my number one goal and everything else is a bonus.”
Denny Hamlin starts 14th as he battles Kyle Larson for the regular-season championship. Hamlin ran a lap of 99.326 mph.
Quite a few big-name drivers will come from deep in the field. Kurt Busch starts 20th; Kyle Busch 21st; Alex Bowman 24th; Kevin Harvick 25th; and Brad Keselowski 31st.
UP NEXT: The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.