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NASCAR Cup: Erik Jones claims first-career pole at Bristol

Erik Jones celebrates his pole for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 18, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Erik Jones celebrates his pole for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 18, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Erik Jones claimed his first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole on Friday, turning in a 14.981-second/128.082 mph lap in the third and final round of qualifying at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway to claim the top starting spot for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

“It’s cool any time you get your first pole in a series, but to do it at Bristol, that’s pretty cool,” Jones said. “I’m just excited. We’ve got a really good 5-Hour Energy Camry. We had a good week last week and we’ve done a good job keeping the momentum going so far, so hoping for a good day tomorrow night. Obviously really excited to get the race going now and see what we can do.”

Jones will share the front row with Kyle Larson.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott will share the second row.

“I wish I could have gone just a few thousandths faster, but I ended up second, so not bad,” Larson said. “I really wanted that pole there just because I was doing something different than everybody, but we’ll start on the front row tomorrow and hopefully be there at the end.”

Chevrolet and Toyota drivers combined to claim the top-seven positions on the starting grid. Joey Logano was the highest-qualifying for in eighth.

Toyotas were tops in all three rounds of qualifying. Kyle Busch was fastest in the opening round with a 14.769-second/129.921 mph lap in the opening round, the fastest lap, overall of the three-round session. Busch, through, had a close call in the second round. He went out for a second attempt in the round but failed to post a lap fast enough to get into round three.

Meanwhile, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, who was second to Busch in round one, posted the fastest lap in round two — 14.917 seconds/128.632 mph. A third JGR driver, Matt Kenseth, was second to Hamlin in that round. Eventual pole sitter, Jones, was third in round two, an improvement from sixth in round one.

Here’s a look at the complete starting grid for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
Row 1 — Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Chase Elliott (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 3 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota)
Row 4 — Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 5 — Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford), Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford)
Row 6 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota)
Row 7 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Toyota), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 8 — Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 10 — David Ragan (No. 38 Ford), Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford)
Row 11 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford)
Row 13 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 14 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford)
Row 15 — Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet), J.J. Yeley (No. 7 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Cole Whitt (No. 72 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford), Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford)
Row 18 — Corey LaJoie (No. 83 Toyota), B.J. McLeod (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Gray Gaulding (No. 55 Chevrolet), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 33 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — Reed Sorenson (No. 15 Toyota), Joey Gase (No. 23 Toyota)

DNQ (Did Not Qualify) — Timmy Hill

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on August 19, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,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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