Elliott takes Cup Series pole at Watkins Glen

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Elliott takes Cup Series pole at Watkins Glen

NASCAR

Elliott takes Cup Series pole at Watkins Glen

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Chase Elliott got the best of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Watkins Glen to earn the pole.

The No. 9 put down a lap of 125.147mph (70.477s) in qualifying. He topped Kyle Larson, whom he had been second to in practice earlier in the day.

It will be an all Hendrick Motorsports front row as Larson’s lap hung on for second fastest at 125.078mph.

It is the third pole of the season for Elliott and his second at Watkins Glen, where he also has two wins. He last sat on a pole at Road America in July. It is the 12th pole of his Cup Series career.

Elliott could potentially clinch the regular season championship this weekend. He would lay claim to the 15 additional playoff points if he is over 60 points ahead of second place in the overall championship standings at the end of Sunday’s race.

Michael McDowell qualified third at 124.685mph and William Byron fourth at 124.557mph. Tyler Reddick completed the top five starters at 124.511mph and has won the last two road course races (Indianapolis and Road America).

AJ Allmendinger qualified sixth at 124.260mph, Chris Buescher seventh at 123.911mph, Austin Cindric eighth at 123.642mph, Daniel Suarez ninth at 123.364mph, and Kyle Busch 10th at 122.951mph.

Ty Gibbs managed 16th for 23XI Racing’s No. 45 Toyota. Joey Hand wound up 17th for Rick Ware Racing.

Denny Hamlin starts 22nd, Bubba Wallace 23rd, Kevin Harvick 24th, Martin Truex Jr. 25th, and Ryan Blaney 26th. Blaney is the driver on the playoff bubble going into Watkins Glen and Truex is the first driver below the cutline.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified 27th for his Cup Series debut. Mike Rockenfeller qualified 33rd, also on his debut.

Kyle Tilley spun through the bus stop during his flying lap and will start 37th.

Christopher Bell did not make a qualifying attempt after his engine blew during practice. Cody Ware was not permitted to qualify as his team was parked by NASCAR after ballast came off his car in practice.

UP NEXT: Go Bowling at the Glen at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.

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