Austin Dillon Takes the Pole at Auto Club Speedway

Austin Dillon will lead the field to the green flag for Sunday’s race in the Golden State.

The driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet scored the pole for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway with a time of 38.200 and a speed of 188.482 mph. This is the second career Sprint Cup Series pole for the third-year driver out of Lewisville, North Carolina. His first came in the 2014 Daytona 500.

“A Daytona 500 pole sitter, now I got a pole somewhere else,” Dillon said. “To do it at a driver’s race track like this at Fontana, it means a lot to me. Just proud of this American Ethanol team. We’ve had fast cars all year long. I knew going into that third session if I didn’t make mistakes I would have a shot. I just stayed with it off of 4. I kept my locker locked as much as I could with the gas just keeping as much fuel to the car as I could. It worked out for us.”

Kevin Harvick will start second in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet after posting a time of 38.231 and a speed of 188.329 mph.

“Good effort by Rodney and the team getting the car ready,” Harvick said. “This track is a challenge with its bumps and rough surface and the lower downforce makes them harder to drive but we’ve got a good car and looking forward to Sunday. Our goal was to run the same lap time all three rounds. That is going to put you in a spot to have a chance. All in all, it’s been a good start to the weekend and really looking forward to the race on Sunday.”

Denny Hamlin, who broke the track record in the second round of qualifying, will start third in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after posting a time of 38.372 and a speed of 187.637 mph. Ryan Newman will start fourth in his No. 31 RCR Chevrolet after posting a time of 38.446 and a speed of 187.276 mph. Carl Edwards will round out the top-five in his No. 19 JGR Toyota after posting a time of 38.457 and a speed of 187.222 mph.

Kyle Busch will start sixth in his No. 18 JGR Toyota followed by Trevor Bayne in seventh in his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Chase Elliott will start eighth in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Joey Logano will start ninth in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford and Jamie McMurray will round out the top-10 in his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

AJ Allmendinger will start 11th in his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet while Kasey Kahne will round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying in his No. 5 HMS Chevrolet.

Complete Starting Lineup:

  1. Austin Dillon
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Carl Edwards
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Trevor Bayne
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Jamie McMurray
  11. AJ Allmendinger
  12. Kasey Kahne
  13. Paul Menard
  14. Ryan Blaney
  15. Brad Keselowski
  16. Chris Buescher
  17. Martin Truex Jr.
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  19. Jimmie Johnson
  20. Matt Kenseth
  21. Brian Scott
  22. Greg Biffle
  23. Casey Mears
  24. Brian Vickers
  25. Aric Almirola
  26. Kurt Busch
  27. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  28. Regan Smith
  29. Clint Bowyer
  30. Michael McDowell
  31. Danica Patrick
  32. Kyle Larson
  33. Matt DiBenedetto
  34. Landon Cassill
  35. David Ragan
  36. Cole Whitt
  37. Josh Wise
  38. Michael Annett
  39. Jeffrey Earnhardt



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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.


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