Byron takes NASCAR Cup pole at COTA

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Byron takes NASCAR Cup pole at COTA


Byron takes NASCAR Cup pole at COTA


William Byron is becoming a betting favorite for the pole on a NASCAR Cup Series road course after grabbing another one at Circuit of The Americas.

Byron earned the top spot for Sunday’s race with a lap of 93.882mph (2m10.76s). While it is his first pole at COTA, it is the fourth road course pole for Byron. And he is the first driver in the Cup Series to win a pole on four different road courses (Charlotte 2019; Road America 2021; Indianapolis 2021).

“It’s been an up and down weekend; the Cup car, we definitely had a little bit of work to do yesterday on overall balance and grip in some areas and then me as a driver,” Byron said. “When I talked overnight (with the team) we felt maybe there were three-tenths on my end and on the car’s end. We were able to close that gap today a little bit and put both together.

“It’s good to get the pole, but tomorrow is what matters. There is a lot of work to do. A lot of physical work to do in the (Xfinity Series) race later today, and then tomorrow is going to be tough. Excited for it, and hopefully we can prepare throughout today and go into tomorrow.”

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick. Reddick, who was fastest in practice and fastest from the second group of drivers in qualifying, ran a lap of 93.783mph in the final round.

Austin Cindric qualified third at 93.459mph with Jordan Taylor qualified fourth at 93.174mph. IMSA veteran Taylor is making his NASCAR Cup Series debut driving the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports in-place of the injured Chase Elliott.

Daniel Suarez qualified fifth at 93.067mph ahead of Alex Bowman in sixth at 93.911mph and AJ Allmendinger in seventh at 92.840mph.

Erik Jones qualified eighth at 92.838mph, with Kyle Busch ninth at 92.678mph, and Noah Gragson qualified 10th at 92.188. It is the first time both Legacy Motor Club drivers made the final round of qualifying in the same session. Defending race winner Ross Chastain qualified 12th, his fastest lap was 93.310mph.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd and Jenson Button was 24th. Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st.