By AMANDA VINCENT
Rain continued to wreak havoc on the Kentucky Speedway NASCAR schedule on Friday, canceling qualifying for both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series. After a test session of the new Kentucky aerodynamic rules package for the Kentucky race was rained out on Wednesday and practice cancelled, again by rain, on Thursday, the Sprint Cup Series finally did get in some practice time on Friday. With the fastest lap (182.537 mph) in that lone practice session, Kyle Larson was granted the pole starting spot for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Saturday night, weather permitting.
Larson will be joined on the front row by Brad Keselowski. Jeff Gordon will start third, Joey Logano fourth and Martin Truex Jr. fifth. Truex will share row three with Jimmie Johnson.
Ryan Blaney posted the 16th-fastest lap in practice, but as preferential treatment is given to full-time teams, Blaney will be on the outside looking in on Saturday night as one of three drivers not in the race. Also not making the race were Michael McDowell and Travis Kvapil.
The call to cancel qualifying was made hours before the qualifying session was even scheduled to get underway, because NASCAR decided if there was time to get on the track prior to the scheduled start of Friday night’s Xfinity Series race, that time would best be served as a Sprint Cup practice session, given the new aero rules package.
It was a decision that didn’t sit well with McDowell. After the cancellation, McDowell tweeted, “Unreal. Weather is clear and treack drying is underway and @NASCAR cancels qualifying again. Let’s just make the rules up as we go. #2Weeks.”
It was the second-straight week McDowell and Blaney were left without race starting spots after a cancelled qualifying session.
Starting line-up for the Quaker State 400:
Row 1 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford)
Row 2 — Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 3 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 5 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 7 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 8 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
Row 9 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford), Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 9 Ford)
Row 10 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 11 — Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — David Ragan (No. 55 Toyota), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 15 — Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Toyota)
Row 16 – Alex Bowman (No. 7 Chevrolet), Justin Allgaier (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Cole Whitt (No. 35 Ford), David Gilliland (No. 38 Ford)
Row 18 — Jeb Burton (No. 26 Toyota), Landon Cassill (No. 40 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Josh Wise (No. 98 Ford), Brett Moffitt (No. 32 Ford)
Row 20 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Will Kimmell (No. 32 Ford)
Row 21 — J.J. Yeley (No. 23 Toyota), Reed Sorenson (No. 62 Chevrolet)
Row 22 — Alex Kennedy (No. 33 Chevrolet)
DNQ (did not qualify) — Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell and Travis Kvapil
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