Furniture Row Racing drivers Martin Truex, Jr. and Erik Jones qualified third and 24th, respectively for Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Truex will line up his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota on the inside of Row 2 after a pole-round lap of 29.049 seconds at 185.893 mph on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. His lap was 0.0-of-a-second slower than pole winner Kyle Busch’s lap of 28.729 at 187.963. Truex was 17th fastest in the first round and third fastest in both the second and final rounds.
It was the 17th top-five qualifying effort of the season for Truex, who starts the playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
“The first round the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota was really loose and I tried to take it a little easy on the tires,” said Truex. “It looked like we were way off, but made some big adjustments for round two and got better and made some more big ones for round three and got even better yet. Just needed a bit more. Missed it a tick today, but all in all, starting third is a good spot and we’ll go race them on Sunday.”
Jones spun the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota in Turn 4 coming to the green flag in the second round. He was unable to complete the lap after flat-spotting the tires and will line up on the outside of the 12th row. He was sixth fastest in the first round with a lap of 29.232 at 184.729 mph.
“The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota just snapped around, there was no indication,” said Jones. “I was trying to make up some speed because we were a little off in (Turns) 1 and 2. We got pretty free in then it just snapped around. It’s unfortunate because we’re going to have to start toward the back so we’ll just have to see what we have in race trim tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll be better off there and be able to work our way to the front Sunday.”
The top-12 qualifiers were: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Truex, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Blaney.
The 267-lap, 400-mile Tales of the Turtles 400 will consist of three stages of 80/80/107 laps (laps 80/160/267). Sunday’s race will air live beginning at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.