Blaney runs to Bristol pole in sweep of Saturday sessions

Ryan Blaney swept Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series activity at Bristol Motor Speedway by claiming the pole for the Food City 500.

The Team Penske driver went to the top of the leaderboard in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 124.954mph (15.356s). It was Blaney’s 10th pole win in the Cup Series and his first at Bristol.

“I’m proud of the whole Menards group,” Blaney said. “The Ford Mustang was fast all day and really good in round one, and made some adjustments for the second round, and I think the track kind of caught everybody by surprise, honestly. The tire fall off, the grip loss behind the wheel was incredible. It’s huge. So it was like, who can not mess up a lap and still put a decent time down? That was fun. It was fun working through it. I wish I could even do it over again and try to make our car even better because I think there was still some more out of there.


“It’s cool to get our first pole of the year and excited to go tomorrow.”

Josh Berry earned a career-best starting position by qualifying second. Berry will start on the front row after putting down a lap of 124.792mph.

Denny Hamlin qualified third (124.178mph), Joey Logano, fourth (123.746mph), Chase Elliott, fifth (122.882mph), Chase Briscoe, sixth (122.858mph), Michael McDowell, seventh (122.108mph) and William Byron, eighth (121.666mph).

Bubba Wallace qualified ninth (121.612mph) and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 10 (114.603mph).

Martin Truex Jr. qualified 11th after missing the final round. Christopher Bell ended up 12th.

Nine-time Bristol winner Kyle Busch qualified 14th. Erik Jones completed the top 15.

It was an adventurous session for many drivers who experienced a sudden loss of grip between practice and qualifying. Multiple drivers got out of shape on their qualifying laps but all avoided disaster.

Notable drivers who will start deep in the field: Tyler Reddick (23rd), Alex Bowman (29th), Chris Buescher (34th), and Ross Chastain (36th).


Story originally appeared on Racer