Martin Truex Jr. captures first 2018 Busch Pole Award at 22nd Annual Auto Club 400

Written By: Robert Henry


Fontana, CA – The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying rounds took place Friday, and it was quite the sight.  The most surprising thing was that not all the drivers during the first round were able to make it on the track to qualify.  Most of the drivers, regardless of their time, were going to qualify.  That didn’t stop No. 4 Busch Beer Ford of Kevin Harvick from setting a track record placing him at the top spot. No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet of Kyle Larson came in just behind Harvick, and No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. followed just behind.  Bringing in the fourth spot was No. 21 Menards/FVP Ford of Paul Menard, who was trailed by #20 SiriusXM Toyota of Erik Jones.  The top five spots after the first round have been set with Harvick commanding the top spot.

Harvick showing that he wants to be the “King of the West Coast” by claiming the top spot after the second round concluded. No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota of Kyle Busch was extremely close to making the top spot, losing out by just tenths of a second.  Coming in at the third spot was Kyle Larson, and No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford of Kurt Busch claimed the fourth spot.  Rounding out the top five spot was No. 12 PPG Ford of Ryan Blaney.  Harvick went into the third round of qualifiers looking to sweep the top spot.  It may be cloudy and dark due to clouds, but the sun is shining bright on Harvick today.

Martin Truex Jr. came out in the third round of qualifiers looking to place in pole position, and he was not disappointed.  Truex Jr. took the top with Kyle Busch trailing in second. Larson took the third place position at the end of the qualifying rounds.  Taking the fourth place spot was Jones who placed fifth in the first round of qualifiers.  Austin Dillon rounded out the top five in the final of the qualifiers today. No sign of Harvick in the top five, as he placed tenth.  Harvick was so close to sweeping the qualifying round, but that might be a good thing.  This NASCAR season whenever someone swept the qualifying rounds they did not end up winning the race, which may be a good thing for Harvick going into the final race this Sunday.

After the three rounds of qualifying rounds, we have the top spots decided, but the most interesting thing is how many cars did not even get on the track to qualify in the first round.  A staggering thirteen cars did not pass pre-qualifying inspections, which left only twenty-four cars to actually go out and place during the first time trials round. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race starts at 12:30PM PST in Fontana, California.

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