Byron leads Cup championship contenders with Phoenix pole

William Byron will have the best starting position and pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series championship race after earning the pole at Phoenix Raceway with a lap of 132.597mph (27.150).

It is the fourth pole of the season for Byron and his first at Phoenix, where he won in the spring.

“Just let’s our boys go to work; they’re the best on pit road,” Byron said of the pole and first pit stall. “I’m excited for them. It’s a totally different race, so we’ve got to get our race balance dialed in, but we’re excited. We’re on keel this weekend, so we’ve just got to go work on our race car.

“Cutting the dogleg was definitely interesting. I definitely felt pretty loose getting into [Turns] 1 and 2, just recovering from the dogleg. Proud of our whole team – the Axalta Chevrolet was good there. Good enough. Definitely got to go to work on the race balance, and I’m just excited for my guys on pit road. They’re awesome. They’re going to like this.”


Martin Truex Jr. will join Byron on the front row with a fastest lap of 132.509mph.

Kevin Harvick qualified third for his final race at 132.421mph, Kyle Larson fourth at 132.397mph, Bubba Wallace qualified fifth at 132.261mph, Denny Hamlin sixth at 132.139mph and Erik Jones seventh at 131.540mph.

Ross Chastain qualified eighth at 131.454 mph, Chris Buescher ninth at 131.109mph and Tyler Reddick 10th at 128.769 mph.

After failing to advance to the final round of qualifying, Christopher Bell qualified 13th at 132.338mph. Ryan Blaney qualified 15th at 132.265mph.

“I needed about another 0.15s,” Blaney said. “The car didn’t feel bad, just not as much speed as everyone else. I think our race car is good for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”

Carson Hocevar starts 22nd in his final race for Legacy Motor Club in the No. 42 Chevrolet. He clocked in at 131.965mph.

There are 36 drivers entered in the NASCAR Cup Series season finale.


Story originally appeared on Racer