Part-timer scores shock Talladega pole
Brian Scott might not run every race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but it mattered little as he took pole for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Aboard the Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet, Scott was part of a Richard Childress Racing group of affiliated cars that took the top-six spots on the grid. The group ran together on a track where drafting is everything and despite this being just his fifth race in the premier Sprint Cup Series, he was the fastest.
Scott used a strong aerodynamic pull from Paul Menard at the tail of a long, six-car pack of the RCR pack of car in the final five-minute qualifying session.
“Who would’ve thought that, huh?” Scott said.
“We had a plan in the beginning for the seven of us to work in a line. We were able to get the right draft and right suck at the last second to get the pole and I couldn’t be more happy for everybody.”
Paul Menard will share the front row followed by AJ Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman. Chevrolet filled the first nine spots in qualifying.
One RCR-allied team was not as fortunate, with the Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet of Martin Truex Jr. failing a post-qualifying inspection due to height requirements. Truex, fastest in opening Sprint Cup practice Friday, will start from the rear of the 43-car field with Kasey Kahne, whose qualifying time was also disallowed when his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy was found underweight in post-qualifying inspection.
Although restrictor plate racing means qualifying is sure to have little bearing on the final results, it does affect pit stall selection. Plus teams will want to work together on the track and when they come to pit road.
After being forced to a back-up car after sustaining damage in practice, Australia’s Marcos Ambrose set the fastest time in the early part of the first segment of qualifying before having to settle for 26th.
“It didn’t quite work out for me,” said Ambrose.
“You’ve got a better chance at Vegas than you do out there doing that stuff. It’s all pretty random at how it all lines up, so it wasn’t a great day.
“Once the cars thinned out it was pretty much impossible, but we’ll learn from this one and see if we can make it better for Daytona.”
Eric McClure, J.J. Yeley, Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek failed to qualify for the 43-car field.
VIDEO: Brian Scott takes Talladega pole
QUALIFYING: Aaron’s 499 – Talladega Superspeedway
|POS||Car #||Driver||Make||Sponsor||MPH||Best Time||Behind|
|1||33||Brian Scott||Chevrolet||Shore Lodge||198.290||48.293||Leader|
|3||47||AJ Allmendinger||Chevrolet||Bush’s Beans||197.704||48.436||–0.143|
|4||13||Casey Mears||Chevrolet||No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS||197.370||48.518||–0.225|
|5||3||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops||197.362||48.520||–0.227|
|8||4||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Jimmy John’s||194.393||49.261||–0.968|
|9||41||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Haas Automation||193.619||49.458||–1.165|
|11||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive To End Hunger||193.486||49.492||–1.199|
|12||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops||188.958||50.678||–2.385|
|13||2||Brad Keselowski||Ford||Miller Lite||194.963||49.117||–0.824|
|14||95||Michael McDowell||Ford||Jordan Truck Sales||194.959||49.118||–0.825|
|15||43||Aric Almirola||Ford||Logan’s Roadhouse-Gwaltney||194.911||49.130||–0.837|
|16||22||Joey Logano||Ford||Shell Pennzoil||194.880||49.138||–0.845|
|17||7||Michael Annett||Chevrolet||Pilot / Flying J Chevrolet||194.098||49.336||–1.043|
|18||55||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||194.035||49.352||–1.059|
|19||18||Kyle Busch||Toyota||M&M’s Pretzel||193.541||49.478||–1.185|
|20||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe’s/Valspar Reserve||193.478||49.494||–1.201|
|21||20||Matt Kenseth||Toyota||Dollar General||193.458||49.499||–1.206|
|22||36||Reed Sorenson||Chevrolet||Golden Corral||190.890||50.165||–1.872|
|23||21||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||190.575||50.248||–1.955|
|24||83||Ryan Truex||Toyota||VooDoo BBQ & Grill Toyota Camry||197.913||48.385||–0.092|
|25||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Ford||Zest||197.908||48.386||–0.093|
|27||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||PEAK Antifreeze/Motor Oil||197.806||48.411||–0.118|
|30||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Chevrolet||National Guard||197.765||48.421||–0.128|
|31||26||Cole Whitt||Toyota||Scorpyd Crossbows||197.721||48.432||–0.139|
|33||23||Alex Bowman||Toyota||Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry||197.403||48.510||–0.217|
|34||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express||197.378||48.516||–0.223|
|35||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M Window Film Ford Fusion||197.244||48.549||–0.256|
|37||32||Terry Labonte||Ford||C&J Energy Services||196.746||48.672||–0.379|
|38||51||Justin Allgaier||Chevrolet||BRANDT Professional Agriculture||196.230||48.800||–0.507|
|39||34||David Ragan||Ford||KFC Go Cup||195.732||48.924||–0.631|
|40||38||David Gilliland||Ford||LOVE’S TRAVEL STOP||194.880||49.138||–0.845|
|41||40||Landon Cassill||Chevrolet||Hillman Racing||194.389||49.262||–0.969|
|42||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance/Thankamillionteachers.com||—|
|43||78||Martin Truex Jr||Chevrolet||Furniture Row||—|