TALLADEGA, Ala. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday after winning the pole for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford won the pole after posting a final round time of 49.993 and a speed of 191.547 mph. It was his first pole at Talladega and his second Cup Series career pole in 158 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts.
“It’ll be nice to lead the field to green here. The Fifth Third guys worked really, really hard on these cars. Like I said earlier, Jimmy Fennig has done a great job on these speedway cars. This is cool. Doug Yates builds awesome horsepower. With his dad, Robert, not doing as well as we would like, it would be cool to dedicate this one to him and all the hard work that the engine shop does. Man, it’s a cool way to start the weekend. I’m ready to get to Sunday,” Stenhouse said of his qualifying run.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start second in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet after posting a time of 50.194 and a speed of 190.780 mph.
“We always kind of come down here and find ourselves with an opportunity for the pole,” Earnhardt said. “Hopefully, we will get one before the year is out at one of these plate tracks. I know the guys have been so close at Daytona and Talladega for so many years, so it would be great to do it this last season together. Just came up a little short today, but the car is fast and it will be good for Sunday.”
Brad Keselowski will start third in his No. 2 Team Penske Ford after posting a time of 50.287 and a speed of 190.427 mph.
“A good effort for the Miller Lite Ford team. Qualifying was good. Qualifying up front means that you have a fast car,” Keselowski said. “To run a time that we did makes you feel like you have a car that will run up front and challenge for a win. We have a fast race car and I hope to make it count.”
Matt Kenseth will start fourth in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after posting a time of 50.359 and a speed of 190.155 mph. Trevor Bayne will round out the top-five in his No. 6 RFR Ford after posting a time of 50.394 and a speed of 190.023 mph.
Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, Paul Menard and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-10.
Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying.
DJ Kennington is the lone DNQ of the race.
GEICO 500 Starting Lineup: