TALLADEGA, Ala. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the field to the green flag tomorrow afternoon after winning the pole for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet posted a final round time of 50.256 and a speed of 190.544 mph. It’s his 15th career pole in 626 career starts.
Earnhardt spoke about winning the pole in what will likely be his final race at Talladega.
“We’ve been fighting our teammate, Chase (Elliott) and his group for poles at these tracks for a long time and it’s been a lot of fun to be honest with you, how these two teams have pushed and elevated each other,” he said. “Really, all the credit for getting a pole at a place like this goes to the team and goes to the car and the guys that work on it, the engine, the body men; we’ve got an amazing staff back at Charlotte that builds some awesome stuff.
“I just hold the wheel straight and try not to bounce into the apron, but get as close to it as you can and make sure you run a clean lap. But there ain’t much to it as a driver. This place has meant a lot to me. It’s awesome to hear those fans happy for us and hopefully, we’re going to give them a lot more to cheer about before this weekend is over.”
Chase Elliott will start second with a time of 50.291 and a speed of 190.412 mph.
On whether he could have done anything differently to capture the pole, Elliott said, “I don’t think so, but congrats to Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and the No. 88 team. They do a good job. Our team does great with this stuff. We definitely have a knack for it. We just hope that we can run good tomorrow and it lasts over the long haul. As hot as it is down here I think it’s going to be pretty important and we’ll try to finish this thing. We’ll see.”
Joey Logano will start third with a time of 50.301 and a speed of 190.374 mph. Kurt Busch will start fourth with a time of 50.329 and a speed of 190.268 mph while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will round out the top-five with a time of 50.355 and a speed of 190.170 mph.
Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney and Trevor Bayne round out the top-10. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson will start 11th and 12th as the remaining drivers that made the final round of qualifying.
No car failed to make the race.Talladega Alabama 500 C1731_STARTROW