PHOENIX – Following his Team Penske teammates’ success the last two weeks, Ryan Blaney captured the pole position on Friday afternoon for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway.
“That was a lot of fun,” Blaney said. “The last time I talked to you in Vegas, I wasn’t too happy about qualifying, but now it’s cool. Here, you actually have to lift and work on your car. Good way to start off the weekend, and hopefully, it keeps going well for us.”
With a lap of 141.287 mph, Blaney earned his second career pole at ISM Raceway and sixth career pole overall. In six Cup starts at the one-mile oval, he has two top-10s. Blaney is joined on the front row by friend Chase Elliott, who is also searching for his first win in Phoenix. Rounding out the top five are Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, and Blaney’s teammate Brad Keselowski.
Friday’s eventful qualifying session included a pit-road scuffle between Daniel Suarez and Phoenix native Michael McDowell. Both drivers failed to advance beyond the first round of qualifying and tensions were high. The two will start next to one another on Sunday in 27th and 28th.
Saturday will feature NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying at 10:40 a.m. and will be capped off with the NASCAR Xfinity Series iK9 Service Dog 200 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets for the iK9 Service Dog 200 and TicketGuardian 500, as well as wristbands for The INfield access on both days, are available for purchase at ISMRaceway.com, by calling 1-886-408-RACE (7223) or in-person at the ISM Raceway ticket office.
About ISM Raceway
Since 1964, ISM Raceway has been the premier motorsports venue in the Southwest. As part of a $178 million modernization project, the track officially became ISM Raceway in 2018 as a result of a naming rights partnership with ISM Connect, a pioneer in smart venue technology bringing the digital fan engagement experience to Phoenix. Phoenix hosts two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends each year. The 2019 season at ISM Raceway will begin with the TicketGuardian 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend on March 8, 9 and 10. The schedule is anchored on Nov. 8, 9 and 10, with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Playoff Weekend after which the field is reduced to the final four championship contenders. For more information, visit www.ISMRaceway.com.