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NASCAR Cup: Chase Elliott on pole in Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 06: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, practices during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 06, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chase Elliott will start on the pole for the Fanshield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday after posting a 26.065-second/138.116 mph lap in qualifying Saturday. He was the only driver of the 38 who made laps during Saturday’s qualifying session to top 138 mph.

Kevin Harvick qualified second to join Elliott on the front row, and Denny Hamlin was third to give each of the three manufacturers representation in the top-three spots of Sunday’s starting grid.

“The line through turns one and and was a lot different. Kevin kind of made the top work, and then, I think after that, everyone saw that and moved up, so it’s great to get a pole,” Elliott said. “We’re in a little bit different colors this week with Unifirst on our Camaro, so I’m excited to grab them a pole. It’s always a good thing when you can put down a fast lap. Hopefully, I just hope tomorrow goes good. That’s always the challenge. We’ll see, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Toyota, though, was tops through the first half of the qualifying session after Erik Jones went out third and sat on the provisional pole until Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Hamlin knocked him from the provisional top spot. When Hamlin was atop the scoring pylon, Toyota drivers were first through fourth. Hamlin’s time at the top was short-lived, though, as Harvick went out two cars later and held the top spot until Elliott went out 31st in the qualifying order and posted what would become the pole-winning lap.

By the end of the qualifying session, two Toyotas were in the top-10, with teammate Kyle Busch joining Hamlin in the 10th position. Jones and another JGR driver, Martin Truex Jr., weren’t far outside the top-10 in 11th and 12, respectively, but Truex will have to drop to the back for the start of the race because of an engine change.

Kyle Larson qualified fourth to join Hamlin in row two.

“Harvick went up into the PJ-1, so I went up there too,” Larson said. “I don’t know if it was better or not; maybe a touch better I felt like. If I had another attempt at it, I could have gone a lot faster. So far, it’s better than I thought it would be, so that’s good.”

Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola qualified fifth and sixth for third-row starting positions.

Below, is complete starting grid for Sunday’s Fanshield 500 at Phoenix Raceway:

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Posted by on March 8, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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