AVONDALE. A.Z.— Joey Logano will start from the pole in Sunday’s Camping World 500 from Phoenix International Raceway. This is Logano’s first pole of the season, and his 18th career pole.
“I thought I had a pretty good (Turns) 1 and 2, I was able to hook the bottom. (Turns) 3 and 4 is where nothing went right. I didn’t think it was going to be quite good enough,” Logano said. “I pushed as hard as I could. Sometimes you overdrive it a little bit and you can still make some speed. Proud of this team and proud of the all-Ford front row. That’s a pretty special deal.
Logano sees this as a potential momentum builder for his team.
“This has been a good track for us and we were finally able to break through and win here last fall. I feel like we had a good car in race trim today. Our car was very fast,” said Logano.
The first round of qualifying started out silently. However, many drivers were still in inspection after the green flag flew. Jamie McMurray was the first driver to hit the track. All cars passed through tech at the halfway point of the opening round. Many drivers took two laps. All drivers made a lap in the first round. Kyle Larson was fastest at 136.695 mph, McMurray was second fastest at 136.467 mph, Ryan Blaney was third at 135.731 mph, Logano was fourth fastest at 135.583 mph, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five at 135.542 mph. No drivers will be heading home. Notable drivers who did not move on to the next round include Daniel Suarez, who will start 27th, and Aric Almirola, who will start 28th.
The middle round saw drivers hit the track quickly with Kyle Busch being the first one out. However, the caution flew in the round for debris. The team of Earnhardt Jr. believed the tire chalk was on the track, but it was still on the car. Logano was the fastest in this round at 137.065 mph, Blaney was tsecond fastest at 136.731 mph, Chase Elliott was third fastest at 136.565 mph, McMurray was fourth fastest at 136.297 mph, and Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five at 136.199 mph. Notable drivers who did not advance to the third round included Clint Bowyer, who will start 13th, Jimmie Johnson, who will start 14th, Martin Truex Jr., who will start 16th, and Kevin Harvick, who will start 23rd.
The final round saw nobody hop onto the track very quickly. Earnhardt Jr. was the first onto the track. Many drivers began to hit the track with one minute remaining. Logano posted the fastest time at 137.321 mph, Blaney posted the second fastest time at 136.877 mph, Earnhardt Jr. posted the third fastest time at 136.783 mph, Larson posted the fourth fastest time at 136.654 mph, and McMurray posted the fifth fastest time at 136.302 mph.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series teams will have two practice sessions on Friday on Motor Racing Network and Fox Sports 2 at 12:00 p.m. EST and 2:30 p.m. EST.