NXS: Jones Wins 13th Career Pole at Chicagoland

16 Sep 2017
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Erik Jones, driver of the #20 NBA 2K18/GameStop Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying in the pole position for the NASCAR XFINITY Series TheHouse.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2017 in Joliet, Illinois. Erik Jones, driver of the #20 NBA 2K18/GameStop Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying in the pole position for the NASCAR XFINITY Series TheHouse.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2017 in Joliet, Illinois. (Sept. 15, 2017 - Source: Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series TheHouse.com 300 kicked off at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. The event began just hours before the race itself was scheduled to kick-off later that day. The technical inspection process for qualifying was also the inspection for the race, so teams would not get their cars back after qualifying to make adjustments. It would be necessary to start the race on the same setup and tires on which they qualified. Three sessions make up the qualifying procedure at Chicagoland. Stage one was 20 minutes long and set positions 25 - 40. Stage two was 10 minutes long and set positions 13 - 24. Finally, stage three set positions 1 - 12 over a 5 minute session. All three sessions were multi-car events.

Brennan Poole jumped out onto the track at the beginning of Round 1. While his No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro went to the top of the pole, other top contenders quickly took control of the top position. About 6 minutes in, Erik Jones laid down a lap time of 30.595 seconds to control the top spot. Bumping finally got started with 12:30 left in the session when Morgan Shepherd got knocked down to 25th when Joey Gase completed his qualifying run. With around 8 minutes left, Kyle Larson jumped to the top of the chart with a lap time of 30.594, beating Jones by .001 seconds. Dakoda Armstrong held the 24th spot for nearly half the session, holding off a final charge from JJ Yeley who wound up 25th. At the end of 20 minutes, drivers missing out on the next session in order from 25 - 40: Yeley, B.J. McCloud, Harrison Rhodes, Timmy Hill, Joey Gase, Josh Bilicki, Vinnie Miller, Mario Gosselin, Garrett Smithley, David Starr, Chris Cockrum, Jeff Green, Spencer Boyd, Morgan Shepherd, Mike Harmon and Matt Mills. There were no drivers that will miss the race due to qualifying.

Round 2 kicked off with a rush of cars lining up at the end of pit road. Blake Koch was the first to go, laying down a lap of 30.789 seconds. Kyle Larson almost immediately knocked Koch off the top spot at 30.434 seconds. The top 12 spots filled in with 7:30 left in the session. Ryan Sieg and Ross Chastain were the first to be bumped. Erik Jones grabbed the top spot in the round with 6 minutes left. Ryan Reed captured the cut off position with 2 minutes left, bumping Justin Allgaier. Reed held off late attempts by Bubba Wallace, Austin Dillon and Brendan Gaughan to advance to the final round of qualifying. Those not advancing and taking spots 13 - 24, in order: A. Dillon, Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Wallace, Ty Dillon, Michael Annett, Brendan Gaughan, Dakoda Armstrong, Ross Chastain, Ryan Sieg, Jeremy Clements and Spencer Gallagher. Reed and Gaughan appeared to have an incident on track after the red flag was displayed, nearly making contact. Gaughan approached Reed, who was still in his car, once they returned to pit lane and the two had a conversation. After, Gaughan insinuated that Reed was speeding on pit road, which NASCAR had warned teams not to do earlier in the day.

The pole was set in Round 3. The 5 minute session started with lots of cars heading onto the track. Daniel Hemric was the first to complete a lap, followed closely by Blake Koch and Elliott Sadler. Erik Jones passed the line soon after, taking the top spot at 30.469 seconds. No one else challenged Jones for the pole. The pole is Jones' 13th of his XFINITY Series career and his first of the year. "It's (the race) going to be fun though. Yesterday's practice was really hot and slick" said Jones when asked after qualifying about today's upcoming race. "Its really fun to slide these cars around. There's really a lot of off throttle time, which is cool". The top 12 qualifiers, in order: Jones, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer, Elliott Sadler, Matt Tifft, William Byron, Daniel Hemric, Ryan Reed, Blake Koch and Brennan Poole.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series TheHouse.com 300 from Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois starts at 3:30 p.m. ET. Coverage on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Shane Burton

I am a life-long race fan who has some strong opinions and isn't afraid to share them.  I am a husband and a father to 4 wonderful children.  I am a life-long resident of Indiana.  I also enjoy NFL, MLB and College Basketball.  I love all kinds of music, but especially hard rock/metal and classic country.  Attending any live event is a thrill for me.